Small businesses are set to benefit from more than £100 million in investment from the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, as he launches the largest fund of its kind ever created by City Hall.
The Greater London Investment Fund has been developed specifically to target businesses which have had difficulties in securing crucial investment. As well as investing in 170 companies, the fund will secure at least another £103 million in private sector investment and create 3,500 new jobs in the capital.
While London has a world-leading financial ecosystem, some small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) struggle to access the funding they need to grow as lenders often tend to focus on larger companies with a more established credit history, for example.
The bulk of the money for the new fund comes from European Union sources, which the Government is yet to give any assurances about replacing post-Brexit: £35 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programme, overseen by City Hall and the London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP); and £50 million is from the European Investment Bank (EIB).
The fund will also focus on industries identified as important for the capital’s economy by the Mayor in his Economic Development Strategy. These include cultural and creative industries, financial and business services, life sciences, low carbon and environmental goods and services, tech and digital, and tourism.
One of the Mayor’s environmental priorities is helping London make the transition to the circular economy, in which Londoners and businesses keep resources in use for longer. As such, £14 million of the total fund has been ring-fenced for businesses which support this goal, of which £7 million has been invested by the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB), the partnership between the Mayor of London and London’s councils.
Small businesses can now apply by contacting either of the independent fund managers – MMC Ventures and The FSE Group – directly.
- The fund will be administered by fund managers MMC Venture Limited and The FSE Group and allocated through three sub-funds:
- Venture Fund: £45 million (investment from £100,000 to £2 million) (MMC Ventures Limited)
- Small loans: £27.5 million (£100,000 to £500,000) (The FSE Group)
- Large loans: £27.5 million (£500,000 to £1 million) (The FSE Group)
- To apply to the fund, SMEs should contact the fund managers directly: