Klarna Fund

Global retail bank Klarna has launched the Small Business Support Package to help retail SMEs get back on their feet.

The buy now, pay later service, which helps shoppers spread the cost of purchases, will provide £3m in funding to 100 businesses.

Retailers are encouraged to apply in four core categories – retail innovator, pandemic impact, sustainability champion and omnichannel trailblazer – and funding can be used for everything from office space and customer acquisition to advertising support.

The winning retailers will also be provided with WeWork All Access for three months, complimentary use of Klarna’s pay later products for one year and £15,000 of Klarna media services.

Klarna’s funding package comes as new research reveals a quarter (24%) of SMEs aren’t confident their business will survive the next two years, with 46% of owners stating their main priority is survival for the next six months.

The research also found that nearly two fifths (38%) of SMEs did not think they would survive the pandemic, with a further 39% feeling they have not yet recovered from its effects.

In addition, 44% of SME leaders noted that pandemic-induced business pressures had been having a negative impact on their mental health.

Recipients of the Small Business Support Package will be chosen by a panel of judges including Matt Vickers, MP for Stockton South and Co-Chair of the APPG on Future of Retail, Alex Marsh, Head of UK for Klarna and Mathieu Proust, General Manager for UK, Ireland and Emerging Markets at WeWork.

Matt Vickers MP said: “It has been a monumentally difficult year for our SMEs, and as we recover from the pandemic, it’s vital that we can provide all the support we can.

“Klarna’s £3m Support Package and Accelerator Program will be instrumental in rebuilding business health and confidence and I encourage every SME to get involved.” 

Klarna’s Alex Marsh said: SMEs are at the core of our economy and it’s vital that they’re given all the tools they need to survive.

“At Klarna, we are determined to help small retailers navigate their way back to pre-pandemic levels and we hope that this fund, together with our Accelerator Program, will inspire and boost confidence across the SME sector.”

Alongside the £3m fund, Klarna has launched a 10-part Accelerator Program hosting a series of free training masterclasses with industry experts from various partners including Shopify, WeWork, Global-e, dotdigital and more to provide SMEs with actionable insights to boost their business. 

WeWork’s Mathieu Proust added: “WeWork is fortunate to be home to some of the UK's most exciting start-ups and SMEs and we know the power of the right resources, space and network on driving success.

“After such a challenging year for SMEs, we're looking forward to welcoming the Support Package beneficiaries into our community and to providing space designed for collaboration and innovation to help them grow and thrive.”

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Richard Dawson
Article by Richard Dawson
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