Affordable Credit Challenge: Register your interest

  • techUK techUK
    Tuesday25Jun 2019

    The challenge will support fintech/community lender partnerships developing innovative technological solutions that address challenges faced by community lenders in...

Nesta will deliver the Affordable Credit Challenge, announced in Budget 2018 and backed by HM Treasury. The Affordable Credit Challenge will open for applications on 31 July 2019, and aims to support partnerships between UK community lenders and fintechs to develop innovative technological solutions that will increase access to affordable, responsible credit. The Challenge is backed by HM Treasury and delivered by Nesta Challenges.

Development grants of between £125,000 to £150,000 will be awarded to up to six partnerships in November 2019. From these, three winning partnerships will each receive cash prizes of around £200,000 in spring 2020.

Interested organisations can now visit for more information and to view the Challenge FAQS.

fintechs seeking to establish connections with community lenders and explore potential partnerships can now:

Organisations with questions or queries about the Challenge are welcome to get in touch- simply email

The challenge:

The challenge will support fintech/community lender partnerships developing innovative technological solutions that address challenges faced by community lenders in serving their customers. It will award equity-free cash prizes to fintechs and community lenders working together to make credit more affordable and accessible. It is an opportunity for fintechs to help change the personal lending market for the better through partnering with community lenders.

Background & opportunity:

Community lending by credit unions and other responsible lenders is a significant market comprising over £1 billion worth of loans annually and serving almost 2 million people. Community lenders compete directly with better resourced, more tech-enabled competitors like payday lenders, which alone lend £1.3 billion annually to 1.7 million people, charging interest rates averaging 1,250%. Many more people turn to unregulated lending.


Nesta has just started its work and over the coming weeks will engage with fintechs and community lenders to finalise the design of the Challenge and to help facilitate fintech/community lender partnerships.

Nesta wants to hear from fintechs across the UK. They invite you to take part in a short survey to register your interest in the Challenge and receive further communications about it. It should take no more than 5 minutes to complete. To complete the survey and register interest in the Affordable Credit Challenge, please click here.

  • Hugo Rousseau

    Hugo Rousseau

    Programme Manager | Financial Services and Payments
    T 020 7331 2054

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