Project Description

Affordable Credit Challenge

The Affordable Credit Challenge was a £2 million prize fund, backed by HM Treasury and delivered by Nesta Challenges. The challenge was set up to widen access to affordable credit for low-income households or people with poor credit who otherwise might be left to turn to payday or other high-cost lenders which can lead to them getting caught in a spiral of debt.

The challenge prize was established to support partnerships between UK community lenders and fintechs to develop innovative technological solutions that address the challenges faced by community lenders in serving their customers, ultimately helping to open up safe, affordable and appropriate credit to the most vulnerable members of society.

Seven’s role was to ensure a significant profile of the challenge prize with B2B audiences, including the fintech community, regulatory and finance influencers, and consumer groups. We were tasked with raising awareness of the issue of affordable credit among B2C audiences, while raising the profile of the winning teams and boosting awareness of the new solutions that emerged from the challenge.

Our Approach

Seven trailed the launch of the challenge exclusively with Mail on Sunday, and on MailOnline, and This is Money. The launch covered in multiple fintech trades, including a quote from Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen MP, helping position Nesta Challenges as an authority in the finance space.

To maintain momentum and continue to engage with the media, we commissioned research on behalf of Nesta Challenges, on public perceptions of payday lenders, and those reliant on high-cost loans. In doing so, we identified consumer appetite for affordable credit options, achieving print coverage in the Sunday Express, The Sunday Post and on The Scotsman website, two of which featured an interview with the challenge’s spokesperson, Chris Gorst.

As part of this momentum building exercise, we also placed an op-ed, written in Economic Secretary’s name, with the New Statesman.

Finally, the finalist announcement was covered widely in fintech trades, alongside the Mail on Sunday, This is Money and Mail Online. It also achieved in-depth broadcast coverage of the finalists on BBC Radio 4’s Moneybox.

The Results

Over the course of the challenge, more than 60 pieces of coverage were secured across national, regional and trade media. In total, the challenge achieved estimated online coverage views of 1.35m and a print circulation of 2.18m.

Seven’s support helped to secure 40 applications from community lender-fintech partnerships, resulting in six finalist partnerships. The majority of these are still working in long-term partnerships even today.

50% of finalists reported that they were able to secure additional funding and partnerships due to the prize, supported by our coverage which helped raise awareness of their solutions with the relevant B2B audiences.

See More Work