LEAP chair, Mayor of London to invest more than £100m in small businesses

03 June 2019

LEAP chair, The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has launched the largest ever fund for small and medium enterprises of more than £100 million. Part 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.

The fund will focus on businesses which have had difficulties securing crucial investment and 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. The fund is also 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.

The funds mainly come 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 Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy – they account for more than 99 per cent of all businesses in the capital and support more than half of all jobs.

“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.

“I promised to be the most pro-business Mayor that London has ever had and that’s why we’re allocating a record amount to SMEs who can create jobs and play a crucial role in our economy.

“I’m also committed to ensuring all Londoners can thrive, which is why we have policies in place to ensure this fund supports women-led businesses and entrepreneurs from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.”

CEO of Funding London, Maggie Rodriguez-Piza, said: “The launch of our pioneering GLIF is a brilliant example of how the public and private sector can work together to support London's economy.

“The fund aims to lead the way in supporting London's SMEs and maintaining the capital’s position as the ultimate place to build and grow companies.  We look forward to working with our fund managers, MMC Ventures and FSE Fund Managers, to achieve this vision.”

Chair of the London Waste and Recycling Board, Dr Liz Goodwin OBE, said: “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 £7 billion every year to the capital.

“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.”

The funding will come from a number of sources:

  • £35 million of European Regional Development Fund;
  • £50 million from the European Investment Bank;
  • £7 million from the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB); and
  • £11 million in returns from previous investments made through Funding London (on behalf of the Mayor).

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: