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About Us

About Us

We lend up to £100,000 to Businesses in Eastern England

We are a membership organisation that lends money to business owners across the counties of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and neighbouring areas, offering loans up to £100,000 to both start up and growing enterprises. We provide help and support with completing the application forms and business plan templates and offer business support after a loan has been awarded.

To date, we have helped businesses to start up and grow in the region and this continues to grow on a daily basis. In 2013 alone, we funded 148 businesses across the eastern region, which means we assisted in creating and saving 169 jobs in the area. These businesses vary from retail and hospitality to travel and publishing.

Whilst sector issues, lack of security, insufficient trading history and a low credit score may be enough to prevent the high street bank from considering your proposition, we won't. We know that most businesses will face obstacles at some point in their journey and we help you to overcome these hurdles and enable you to continue to develop and grow your enterprise.

We may say Yes, even if the computer says No

“Lending decisions over recent years have increasingly been made by a computer and this has ignored more tangible elements, such as the management skills and commitment of the work force that can help a business move forward and succeed” – says our Chief Executive Katy Ford.

Do you have a viable business proposal and are passionate about your idea but were unable to get, or consider it unlikely that you could get the finance you need from your bank?

Are you

  • A start-up business trading less than 12 months?
  • A new business trading less than 3 years?
  • A business with a social purpose but with an uncommon legal structure?
  • A family business?
  • A sole trader making the first steps on the path of self-employment?
  • A discharged bankrupt or been involved with a previously failed business?
  • An established business that has suffered during the recession but is now picking up trade?
  • A business with orders, but insufficient cash to fulfil them?
  • A business with no security to offer?

If you can answer Yes to any of these, or have another issue which you consider may be problematic for a mainstream bank, give us a Call on 01284 757777, send a General Enquiry form or email us at info@foundationeast.org. Let’s talk about your enterprise and explore if we can help you to develop it further.

We are different

We analyse your business plan and cash-flow projections and we seek to understand your and your businesses credit history. What is more, we will talk to you about your ideas and your venture’s future. We are interested in finding out what you want to achieve, what drives your business and why you wish to develop your enterprise. Unlike a bank, we do not use a credit scoring system to make our decision. Software, however sophisticated, can easily ignore genuine business potential. Stagnant numbers in neat columns of financial reports describe the facts of past performance, but lack the energy of the person or a team they represent.

We believe in a more pragmatic approach and we understand the value of the human factor.

The ambition of a young tycoon who wishes to fulfil their dream; the determination of a business that fights to stay afloat; the true grit of a company owner who wants to introduce new services and build a new team; in our opinion, these qualities are the valuable assets of an enterprise.

Our desire is to help turn business ideas into real enterprises and to help support their growth thereafter. We have designed our business loan products to support start up, established and developing enterprise owners.

We offer:

  • Start Up Loans up to £100,000 (with a reduced interest rate for the first £10,000) to help establish your new business; aimed at dedicated entrepreneurs who have been trading for less than 12 months;
  • Growth/Expansion Loans up to £100,000 aimed at businesses looking to grow and take their company to the next level;
  • Cash Flow/Working Capital Loans up to £100,000 aimed at businesses struggling with cash flow you whilst growing or needing to purchase stock or materials;
  • Social Enterprise Loans up to £100,000 – aimed at organisations who are trading but do not distribute their profits;
  • Equipment Purchase Loans up to £25,000 aimed at any business looking to purchase equipment to help build a business, improve efficiency or help replace dated machines;
  • Social Purpose Loans up to £25,000 (with a reduced interest rate) to help early stage but growing enterprises that have a social purpose.
  • Finance for any number of other scenarios, up to £100,000, just ask one of our team if you need to borrow for a specific purpose not listed above.
If you feel we can help you with your business finance needs give us a Call on 01284 757777, send a General Enquiry form or email us at info@foundationeast.org. Let’s talk about your enterprise and how we can help you develop it further.

We also help Community Groups to acquire assets

 We also help community groups to form Community Land Trusts who in turn are able to acquire assets and build new properties that their community has identified as a need.

In order to achieve this Foundation East has formed a separate trading arm called CLT East and all information about what a Community Land Trust is, how to form one, what the advantages of being a Community Land Trust could be for your community along with some interesting and inspiring case histories please go to www.CLTeast.org.

Foundation East is an Industrial and Provident Society and a democratic organisation controlled by is members, which include individuals, sole traders and incorporated organisations that support the ethos, values and mission of the Society. For further details on how to become a member visit our Become a Member page.

Case Studies

  • Claire Tyler

    Claire and Tony found themselves in a recession hit...

    Read more