William Eichler 31 May 2019

Khan launches £100m SME investment fund

The mayor of London yesterday launched the largest ever fund for small and medium enterprises, which includes £14m to support the transition to a circular economy.

The £100m Greater London Investment Fund will invest in 170 companies and aims to secure £103m in private sector investment.

Mr Khan said that the boost to small and medium enterprises would also create 3,500 new jobs in the capital.

Most of the money comes from European Union sources, with £35m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programme and £50m from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

The fund will focus on industries identified by the mayor’s Economic Development Strategy as important for the capital’s economy.

These include cultural and creative industries, financial and business services, life sciences, low carbon and environmental goods and services, tech and digital, and tourism.

It will also concentrate on SMEs that are often overlooked by lenders who prefer larger companies with more established credit histories.

‘Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy – they account for more than 99% of all businesses in the capital and support more than half of all jobs,’ Mr Khan said.

‘London is the best place in the world to start and grow a business – but even in such a dynamic economy as ours, some small entrepreneurs can’t access crucial funding.’

Around £14m of the fund will go to businesses who share the goal of transitioning to a circular economy where Londoners and businesses keep resources in use for longer.

Half of this figure has been invested by the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB), the partnership between the mayor of London and London’s councils.

‘Targeted finance like this can play a vital role in helping overcome barriers to growing a circular economy in London, which could bring net benefits of at least £7bn every year to the capital,’ said chair of the London Waste and Recycling Board, Dr Liz Goodwin.

‘Our contribution to this innovative fund is the final piece of the investment jigsaw for LWARB, as we support startups, SMEs and mature businesses all wanting to make the very best use of increasingly limited materials and resources.’?

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