Dr Steve Walker ACIB
Steve Walker is Chief Executive of ART Business Loans (ART).
He joined ART in 1996 from Barclays Bank, for whom he had worked for 29 years, rising to Senior Corporate Manager dealing with mostly small and medium enterprises in the Midlands.
He has been Chief Executive of ART since launch in 1997.
From 2000-2006 he was a member of the Small Business Investment Taskforce, an advisory, non-departmental public body, advising the Small Business Service and through it the Government on all matters relating to finance for businesses and has become one of the leading UK practitioners in the Social Finance sector. He served on that body and was instrumental in supporting through national and local funding the growth of the CDFI sector and early stage equity funding for businesses.
He is a member of the West Midlands Regional Finance Forum and is widely recognized as a leading practitioner in the social finance sector. He also serves upon the advisory access to finance board of the GB and S LEP.
Steve has contributed extensively to policy issues relating to access to finance and support for small businesses including Social Enterprises, at both regional and national level, drawing from his practical experience and attended in 2003, as a representative of the U.K government and the Taskforce, the Federal Reserve Bank Sustainability Conference in Washington U.S.
He is a regular presenter upon access to finance practice and policy both in verbal and written form and has had many articles published in his area of expertise. He is also a regular Educational lecturer on small businesses and finance.
Steve was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in 2007 by the University of Birmingham for services to enterprise and access to finance. In 2016 he became also an honorary research fellow at the University.
ART Business Loans
ART‘s fund is created from a combination of member investment and public sector support. ART provides loans at commercial rates to Small Businesses and Social Enterprises in the West Midlands that are unable to access finance from conventional sources, yet have viable business plans and is widely recognised as the leading locally targeted Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) in the UK.
ART has lent over £21.0 million to small businesses and social enterprises since launch and continues to expand operations. It is an accredited CDFI (BEIS) and is able to offer tax relief to new investors.