Who are the current members?
Some are individual members, some corporate. They've all joined for different reasons, though, for most, there has been a time when help from an unexpected source has made a big difference. This could have been kindly advice, a short-term loan or simply knowing someone had faith in their ability to succeed.
No matter why they joined, they all understand how valuable such support can be and chose to become a member of Foundation East to help give small business owners the finance and the encouragement they need to prosper.
Do you need me to provide ID?
To ensure compliance with Money Laundering Regulations, we are required to verify the identity of all membership applicants. As part of our online application process, we carry out an automatic online identity verification check. If you are an individual you may be required to provide your Passport or Driving Licence number. If this information is required you will be informed as you go through the application process.
How much can I invest?
Members buy shares, each share costing £1. The minimum investment is £50 for an individual or sole trader, £250 for incorporated companies. The maximum investment per investor is £100,000. Shares are held on a one member one vote basis.
How is my investment used?
Foundation East uses the money you invest by directly lending it to small business located in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and neighbouring areas.100% of your money is invested in small business who can’t get a loan from the bank.
What are the benefits of investing?
There are many economic, social and financial benefits through investing in Foundation East shares.
Some members invest to meet their company’s Corporate Social Responsibility agenda, some simply because giving something back to their community provides feelings of personal fulfilment. Some invest because it is an opportunity to support the development of local businesses. Some invest for tax efficiency reasons (CITR shares entitle the investor to a minimum of 5% per annum tax relief). Many invest for a variety of these reasons, or because they have had personal experience of financial exclusion in the past.
What is CITR?
Foundation East is accredited by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to offer Community Investment Tax Relief (CITR). The relief is equivalent to a minimum of 5% of the value of your investment each year for five years. The investment must remain with Foundation East for 5 years in order to be eligible for CITR.
CITR equates to a pre-tax return of 6.41% for standard payers, 7.14% for corporate tax payers and 8.33% for higher rate tax payers.
Not all member investments have to be invested and/or be eligible for CITR. More information.
What is the wider role of members?
The active participation of members adds tremendous value to the Society. It is welcomed, but not obligatory.
Our members’ experience and skills have helped many businesses in the region to succeed and the people involved in these businesses to turn their lives around.
Here are a few words from a few of our members:
“I sat in on a meeting between one of my clients and Foundation East. It was so refreshing to hear the application would be judged on the business case and the individual, rather than a remote credit scoring system, together with an offer of ongoing help and support, as opposed to simply monitoring.” Brian Floringer, Partner at Lovewell Blake LLP
“Certain shares in Foundation East qualify for a tax relief aimed at stimulating community investment. Becoming a member enabled me to obtain a good return (by way of tax reduction) and at the same time channel resources to new business ventures focused on wealth creation.” John Parker, individual member
“I wanted to work with SMEs and joining Foundation East gave me that opportunity. Foundation East support the local economy by providing finance to businesses. As a member I can become directly involved with the SMEs we support and I welcome the opportunity to see them develop. I am also helping Foundation East grow, evolve and continue much needed finance to the SME sector.” Barry Van Eupen, local business owner