ETHEX TRADING PLATFORM LISTING TO INJECT PACE INTO EAST OF ENGLAND RESPONSIBLE FINANCE COMPANY’S FUNDRAISING GOAL
Foundation East’s aim to raise £500,000 through the sale of Community Investment Tax Relief (CITR) shares to enable it to lend to social enterprises, SMEs and microenterprises in East of England receives boost…
Following its inaugural #InvestInCITR Week campaign, Foundation East, the only not for profit, responsible finance company offering loans and business support to micro-enterprises, SMEs and social enterprises unable to access mainstream finance across the East of England, has today announced that its Community Investment Tax Relief (CITR) shares offer is to be included on the trading platform Ethex.org.uk, the marketplace for positive investments. The aim is to increase the funds raised through the sale of Foundation East CITR shares from £200,000 so far to £500,000 by the end of the 2019/20 financial year.
England’s economic resilience is reliant on SMEs. Yet more and more SMEs with viable business plans are being turned away from mainstream finance providers because they do not meet the funders strict lending criteria. Similarly, social enterprises, organisations that have a social and community focus and contribute to a more equal society which puts people, communities and the environment first, are struggling to access finance. In fact, of the 100,000 + social enterprises and SMEs in the UK, which contribute £60 billion to the economy and employ 2 million people, 60% struggle to access affordable finance.
Historically, this is where, in the Eastern region, responsible finance provider Foundation East has stepped in. Yet, without raising further investment itself, this social enterprise will struggle to continue to make the level of social and economic impact it has been making to the region over the last 15 years. This being so, last week it launched its #InvestInCITR campaign and this week has announced its inclusion on the positive investment platform, Ethex.org.uk.
“Foundation East does important work providing loans and expert business support to companies in the East of England who do not meet the stringent credit criteria of the mainstream finance sector. Historically this not for profit, responsible finance company has been able to help such enterprises thanks to investment from the EU and the UK government’s regional growth funds. With the future of these funds so uncertain, and the work they enable so vital to the East of England’s economic resilience, Community Investment Tax Relief is going to become increasingly vital. We’re delighted to be able to offer this opportunity to our community of over 15,000 ethical investors who are looking for ways to make their money do good,” commented Josh Brewer, senior business development manager, Ethex.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for us to help even more of the region’s social enterprises, SMEs and microenterprises that are finding it more and more difficult to access finance to help them develop and grow. Ethex is the ‘go to’ source for socially responsible investors in the UK and we are confident that our inclusion on their platform will, like our responsible finance equivalent in the Midlands, ART Business Loans, enable us to reach our target of raising £500,000 by the end of the 2019-20 financial year,” advised Katy Ford, chief executive of Foundation East.
Without borrowing from Foundation East, over 600 small businesses across the East of England would be unlikely to exist. These businesses have created over 1250 jobs to date and include:
Bedfordshire birthing pool delivery service, Barefoot Birth Pools
Cambridgeshire award winning chocolate-making social enterprise Harry Specters
Essex eco-brand Cabello Hair & Beauty
Hertfordshire young entrepreneurs Fabio’s Gelato
Lincolnshire award winning community gym, Boston Body Hub
Norfolk-based renewable energy solution provider, Miller Installations
Northamptonshire Cookies Bakers & Confectioners
Suffolk Future50 company Your Telemarketing
When people or businesses purchase Foundation East CITR shares, 100% of their investment is lent to SMEs like these. For every £1 Foundation East lends on to such businesses, it creates £15 in social and economic impact, as explained in this short animation and this economic impact report. Individuals (or sole traders) can invest a minimum of £50 and a maximum of £100,000. Incorporated business you can invest a minimum of £250 and a maximum of £100,000.