Boris Johnson supports new start-up loan fund

The joint venture from Fredericks Foundation and The London Community Foundation will give small loans to start-ups and small businesses that are unable to access mainstream lending.

"London has tremendous entrepreneurial spirit, but it's difficult for start-ups to get access to the help they need to get up and running," says Johnson. "Small businesses are the backbone of London's economy and with this new initiative, Fredericks will provide much-needed support to inspiring Londoners who want to start their own businesses, drive economic growth and create jobs."

Fredericks Foundation, established in 2001, is a leading microfinance organisation in the UK. The organisation provides funding to businesses at all stages, from start-ups to existing companies.

The average loan is less than £5,000 and and as well as money, borrowers also receive mentoring and support to ensure that every business has the greatest chance of success.

"Our success rate for start-ups still trading after three years is over 70% - a figure most banks would be proud to boast," says Paul Barry-Walsh, entrepreneur and founder of Frederick's Foundation.

"From the outset, we have believed at Fredericks that giving people a hand-up when they despair of working and providing for their families is a great way of ensuring a healthy local economy."

To date the organisation has lent over £3m and created over 1,200 jobs. It operates from Kent to Devon, but is currently in the process of expanding to ten more local lending hubs. The new partnership with The London Community Foundation is part of this growth.

Fredericks Foundation also has a greater social impact. A report from the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion, to be published in full later this week, has found that for each £1 lent by Fredericks, a minimum of £3 of public money is saved.

The Fredericks Foundation has loaned to a wide range of businesses, from Go Easy Petcare, a dog walking business, to Janet Edwards London, a florist. The organisation has also loaned £15,000 to The People's Supermarket to help with restructuring and allow it to continue serving the local economy.

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