The Collective is an award winning property management and development company based in London, which specialises in rental properties for young professionals and commercial space for entrepreneurial growth businesses and startups.

One of their key focusses is their Co-Living proposition – high-quality rental property targeted at young professionals, with an emphasis on the community benefits co-living can bring.

With ambitious plans to increase their portfolio to over 5,000 units in the coming years, The Collective approached OakNorth for a cashflow loan to support them in their growth.

The growth opportunity

Reza Merchant, CEO of The Collective and recent winner of Entrepreneur of the Year at this year’s London Loves Excellence awards spoke to us about his experiences as a small business owner.

‘As a small, growing business, we found securing finance difficult’ Reza commented. ‘We approached the clearing banks, but they weren’t responsive and didn’t understand the rationale of our business strategy.’

OakNorth provided a fantastic solution for us as entrepreneurs looking to grow; they really worked hard to understand our business.

How OakNorth helped

We worked with The Collective to develop a cashflow loan which supported their growth ambitions. As with all our customers, we involved Reza and his team in each step of the process, including presenting to our Credit committee, ensuring they were able to provide input into our decision making, which helped us to create the right loan for their business.

Our first meeting with The Collective to full credit approval took just three weeks, meaning The Collective were able to proceed with their plans quickly in the comfort that their funds were secured.

‘The whole experience with OakNorth was great,’ Reza noted ‘everything was straightforward, they understood what we were trying to do and took a pragmatic approach to business lending.’

The future?

We asked Reza what can be done to encourage the tomorrow’s entrepreneurs to follow in The Collective’s footsteps?

‘Make starting your own business part of the curriculum. Learning about business at school is great, but entrepreneurship is a different mindset. Students should be able to learn these softer skills at school, to better prepare them should they want to start their own businesses.’

For more information on The Collective, please visit their website: