Since its launch in May 2019, the Greater London Investment Fund (GLIF) has invested £12.5m in 33 early-stage and high-growth companies through its equity and loan funds.
Although the fund was established to support high growth companies in achieving their potential, since the end of March SMEs have had to refocus their strategies on resilience until the UK is able to resume normal economic activity. Therefore, GLIF has been working with FSE Group to enable our funds to support SMEs in this time of crisis.
It was announced today that the Greater London Investment Fund has become an accredited lender under the British Business Bank Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).
This accreditation means that GLIF funds managed by The FSE Group will repurpose £4.3m funding to provide Coronavirus Resilience Loans (CRLs). CRLs is a temporary measure to support London’s SMEs who wish to preserve or adapt their existing capacity and strengthen their business during the exceptional COVID-19 impacted environment, to ensure they are able to maximise growth opportunities as market conditions recover. The CRL product will benefit from the support for busiesses that the Government has put in place, and will be made available to London-based SMEs who would otherwise struggle to access finance through other channels.
The CRL product will be available until the end of September (in line with the CBILS guarantee).
Kala Desai, Head of Funds for The FSE Group, who manage the £55m GLIF debt fund on behalf of Funding London, comments: “Together with the Fund’s core growth loans the CBILS product provides us with the opportunity to support SMEs to both sustain through the current market conditions, and also to position themselves to capitalise on future growth opportunities. It is key to remember that UK businesses are both resilient and creative, and whilst the coming months will be challenging, we look forward to be able to offer debt facilities to assist London’s innovative high growth SMEs.”
Maggie Rodriguez-Piza, CEO at Funding London, said: “The need for alternative sources of funding has never been greater than in the current circumstances. We are delighted that GLIF’s loan funds have been accredited by the British Business Bank to repurpose funding to support businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Alongside our partner, FSE Group, we have the systems in place to start deploying the capital allocated under CBILS and will continue to do so over the coming months, ensuring start-ups and scale-ups receive the necessary support.”
GLIF is a £100m initiative to help address the SME finance gap in Greater London, promoting economic growth through enterprise and an inclusive and sustainable economy. £55m of debt funding is available, via loans between £100,000 and £1m, to early-stage and established SMEs looking to scale-up and realise their growth ambitions. GLIF is financed by the European Investment Bank (EIB), European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), London Waste & recycling Board (LWARB) and Funding London.