Mayor Boris Johnson has backed the new Fredericks London initiative. Image courtesy of: Greater London Authority
At a time when finance for small businesses
is almost non-existent, a new loan fund in London has opening for business, focusing on helping people struggling to find work to help themselves by setting up in business.
will be working in partnership with The London Community Foundation in a venture that will see small loans
extended to start-ups
and small businesses unable to access mainstream lending on the high street.
Mayor Boris Johnson
supports this much needed lending coming to some of the most deprived parts of the UK. He commented: "London has tremendous entrepreneurial spirit, but it's difficult for start-ups to get access to the help they need to get up and running. Small businesses are the backbone of London's economy and with this new initiative, Fredericks will provide much-needed support to inspiring Londoners who want to start their own businesses, drive economic growth and create jobs."
Fredericks London's lending comes with a package of mentoring and support to make sure each business has the greatest chance of success, as well as taking many recipients off benefits and back into the tax-paying community. A report authored by the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion
, to be published in full next week, has found that for each £1 lent by Fredericks, a minimum of £3 of public money is saved.
Fredericks has been lending in this way for over a decade, and has created or saved over 1200 jobs while lending over £3m. With Fredericks currently operating from Kent to Devon, the recent injection of Regional Growth Fund assistance will enable ten new local lending "Hubs" to open in conjunction with different Community Foundations
across the country. And while Fredericks administers the lending, each local Hub will recruit local businesspeople and supporters to raise the running costs and make the lending decisions, with the benefit of local knowledge, contacts and instinct.
, founder, Fredericks Foundation added:"From the outset, we have believed at Fredericks that giving people a hand-up when they despair of working and providing for their families is a great way of ensuring a healthy local economy."
"Running a successful small business gives our clients a new focus, improved self-esteem, and is a great way to help kick-start the recovery we so badly need in this country."
"Without a bedrock of energetic small business, established and larger firms see less growth and we all suffer as a result - much like a housing market with no first time buyers."
"We know it works," says Barry-Walsh. "Our success rate for start-ups still trading after three years is over 70 percent - a figure most banks would be proud to boast."
"And we know from the real stories we've been part of since 2001 that there's a genuine need for someone to take a chance on people who have the vision and commitment to make a success of their businesses, but just need the backing of someone who believes in them."