FSE committed to driving growth in the Capital
Established in 2002, The FSE Group manages regional funds that allow high-growth businesses that fall into the market-gap to access funding creating economic prosperity and new jobs. We have since witnessed many changes affecting the funding landscape for SMEs but, almost twenty years on, our core function remains the same: to help fund scaleup enterprises.
Our regionally focused funds provide loans and investment support for growing businesses across the Midlands, South East, Cornwall, the East of England, and right here in the Capital. In London, we manage the £55m debt portion of the Greater London Investment Fund (GLIF). GLIF was launched in 2019 by the Mayor of London to help achieve economic growth through enterprise, promoting an inclusive and sustainable economy for London.
As we approach the end of 2021 we have now provided over £19 million of commitments to 48 businesses, leveraging a further £54.7million of private investment and creating/safeguarding more than 900 jobs.
We have supported SMEs across a broad range of sectors including healthcare & life sciences, circular economy & low carbon energy, cultural & creative, manufacturing, financial services, and the expansive technology & digital sector. Across all of these sectors, we are seeing the provision of innovative solutions underpinned by increasingly sophisticated digital technology such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and data analysis tools. This has resulted in a resilient portfolio, which as we emerge from the effects of the pandemic is also well positioned to drive growth, create new jobs and support economic recovery. A small selection of our recent transactions below will give you a flavour of the types of businesses we help.
Champo, a London based contemporary hair care brand has secured funding for its natural, sustainable, vegan and cruelty free range. The loan will support expansion which will enable the brand to recruit a number of new employees over the next three years for their thriving brand in a high growth market segment.Distributed has built a process and platform which allows a business to work with the world’s best IT workforce as easily as it could with a local contractor. The funding will help them scale-up their existing operation by recruiting more staff.
Brands, retailers and marketing agencies are better able to predict, analyse and influence consumer behaviour by using Dragonfly’s AI suite of tools. Our support will allow the business to further develop its artificial intelligence (AI) technology and undertake marketing activity to support planned expansion.
A world-leading video recruitment platform. In light of COVID-19 restrictions, recruitment agencies now rely on Hinterview as a way to continue “business as usual”. The platform offers a premium service to enhance the recruitment process for candidates and clients, reducing time to hire and increasing placement rates. The support of the GLIF expansion loan will enable them to scale-up the team to service current demand and expand sales in the recruitment sector.
In keeping with GLIF’s aim to deliver inclusive funding across the capital, we are active in underserved boroughs and communities. To date, 28% of our investments are supporting SMEs with diverse representation at a senior management level.
GLIF’s debt funds have also been accredited by the British Business Bank to provide the Recovery Loan Scheme to support businesses impacted by covid-19. In the Autumn Budget 2021, the government announced that the Recovery Loan Scheme will be extended by six months to 30 June 2022, which provides us with a further opportunity to support businesses as they look to grow and prosper.
As head of the London Debt Fund, my aim is to continue to help the diverse landscape of innovative high-growth SMEs across the Capital to ensure they get the support they need to survive and thrive.