We started in 2012, when we noticed a problem: on average, it was taking eight weeks (and a lot of paperwork) for small businesses to apply for a loan. Worse still, more often than not, that process was ending in a ‘no’.
We knew that bakeries, building firms, salons, and solicitors deserved better. They deserve to be able to grow – hire more hands, invest in stock, market themselves – without all the hold music and absurdly rigid criteria.
We’ve now been around for a decade, and in that time, we’ve:
- grown to a team of 290 iwocans
- worked with over 50,000 small businesses across the UK and Germany
- redesigned the whole business loan process from start to finish – our record is three minutes, 26 seconds.
It’s a good start, but it’s just the beginning. Our mission is help one million businesses who need us, so we still have a long way to go.
Here’s what we’ve learned about lending along the way
- Technology is the way to change this space
From automated decisions to API integrations, tech has the potential to create the changes small businesses have been waiting for – so we can’t stop innovating.
- Embedded finance is the future
More and more, we’re reaching customers by embedding our loans within the apps and systems they use everyday. Our partners are people like neobanks, online marketplaces and accountancy software companies.
- Payments and credit are converging
Lots of small businesses struggle with cash flow; often getting invoices paid from their customers months after paying their own bills. Loans can help them pay these bills, but we also want to tackle the problem at its root by improving payment terms.
- New products are always possible
We’re working to create new loans of all shapes and sizes, and we’ve recently launched iwocaPay to help with these cash flow conundrums.
We work hard to make iwoca a place where everyone feels welcome, where you can confidently be yourself. We understand that diversity isn't an optional add-on, it's the core ingredient of what makes us great.
- To conduct independent analysis of credit applications - using our cutting-edge tech platform, you will be analysing data from financial accounts, bank statements, credit reference agencies and other sources to arrive at fast, fair, and accurate decisions.
- To perform thorough due diligence to ensure affordability of credit in line with internal policy.
- To improve the decision making framework, models and processes alongside our Tech, Analytics and Product teams.
- To communicate effectively with our customer facing teams to ensure a fast and slick service.
- Experience in commercial credit underwriting, credit sanctioning or credit analysis within the SME space.
- Previous exposure to decisioning different credit product types and debt structures, including both short and longer term loans.
- Excellent communication skills. You will have direct telephone contact with our customers as part of the decision-making process, as well as internal stakeholders.
- An analytical mindset and the ability to come up with innovative and scalable solutions to day-to-day problems and suggest changes to processes to improve our efficiency.
- A strong desire to challenge the status-quo and drive for continuous improvement..
We look for people that are smart, humble, motivated and who are always looking to improve. Ideally, you’ll have:
- Experience in commercial loan underwriting, credit sanctioning or credit analysis, preferably within the SME sector or alternative lending.
- Strong business acumen and a working understanding of what makes a good business good, so you can quickly identify the key drivers behind an application.
- A good understanding of how businesses operate, including their main risk and revenue drivers.
- The ability to interpret financial statements and an understanding of the key risk drivers specific to SMEs.
- An analytical mindset with a practical approach to problem solving.
- A confident and enthusiastic attitude that works well in a regularly changing and fast paced environment.
- Excellent communication skills. You will have direct telephone contact with loan applicants to extract additional information so need a friendly telephone manner.
- The ability to come up with innovative and scalable solutions to day-to-day problems and suggest changes to processes to improve our efficiency.
- Excellent educational background with an undergraduate degree in either Finance, Mathematics or Finance. CFA preferred but not essential.
What’s life like as an iwocan?
We all enjoy:
- Bright, modern office spaces in Fitzrovia & Leeds. We have always supported flexible working however during the current pandemic the majority of iwocans are working from home. We have taken every precaution to keep our offices COVID-19 secure for those that need to use them.
- A calendar of ‘remote friendly’ events each week including Bingo, Comedy Nights, Escape Room challenges….
- Two company retreats a year (in places like the French Alps or Spanish seaside)
- Pool, ping pong, foosball tables and tournaments
- Virtual Yoga classes every Tuesday and Thursday morning
- An ever-growing number of clubs including climbing, chess, football and boxing
- Plenty of drinks and snacks in our office kitchen
Just for you:
- Medical insurance from Vitality, including discounted gym membership
- We take your well being incredibly seriously, so you’ll have instant access to emotional and mental health support services via our partner Spill
- Share options
- Enhanced maternity and shared parental leave
- A workplace nursery tax benefit scheme. Save £££ on your nursery costs
- 25 days holiday per year and an extra day off on your birthday
- All the equipment you need to set up your home working space up
- Paid volunteering time for you to support your chosen charity
- Extra leave if you want to travel or study
- Special celebrations for anniversaries and long service including sabbatical
- Flexible working arrangements
- Cycle-to-work scheme
And to make sure we all keep learning, we offer:
- L&D budget including a book budget to encourage you to keep learning
- Company-wide talks with internal and external speakers
- A calendar of meetups we host at our office
- Access to learning platforms like Treehouse if you want to learn to code.