As part of the business support service offered by Ongar Business Centre’s operator, Invest ESSEX, start-up loans are being provided for small businesses (to start and grow) in Essex through not-for-profit finance provider Let’s Do Business Group (LDBG).

We are thrilled that, through Invest ESSEX, we are now able to boost the prospects for start-ups within the county. They can apply for an unsecured figure of up to £25,000, with no arrangement fee, to support business cash flow where funding from high street lenders cannot be found.

Graham Marley
Chief Executive
Let's Do Business Group

To apply for a start-up loan or for more information, click here:

loaning money

Invest ESSEX assisting start-ups with funding and finance

To support business growth, Invest ESSEX offers start-up loans to qualifying businesses across the county. Let’s Do Business Group (LDBG) has been delivering the Invest ESSEX service for more than two years and has identified that businesses and budding entrepreneurs are having difficulty accessing the funding they need to start and grow. LDBG provides access to finance through:

  • The government backed start-up loan scheme
  • Growth loans to businesses that can’t access finance from the banks
  • Access to finance professionals who can help businesses identify and access the most appropriate finance to help them grow

We have been working extremely closely with the team at Invest ESSEX following our launch in October 2017. We have found the support given not only through the start-up loan process, but for the business as a whole, to help us progress through this embryonic stage invaluable.

Alex Jackson-Wood
Director of Client Services
JXL Rebus

See how else Invest ESSEX helps SMEs and start-ups here.

small business loan agreement

Decline in bank lending to SMEs and start ups

Recent findings by Oxford Economics & Funding Circle stated that small business lending from banks have significantly decreased 10 years on from the 2008 financial crisis. The report highlighted that lending to SMEs in the UK accounts for only 2% of banks’ balance sheets.

SMEs are vital for economic growth across the UK as they equate to 99% of all UK businesses in comparison to larger organisations which make up 0.11%. Despite their positive impact on the economy, banks are unwilling to offer finance to SMEs and often collect more in repayments than delivering new loans and overdrafts to SMEs.

Applying for bank loans is becoming increasingly time-consuming and difficult, particularly with the rise in declined applications SMEs face. Alternatively, more small businesses are turning towards lending providers that provide business support services which drive business growth.

It is great to add a start-up loan capability to our armoury. Start-up businesses are a key part of the SME landscape and these loans can also support growth up to two years from commencement of trading.

David Rooke
Location Services Director
Invest ESSEX

banking meeting

The Invest ESSEX loan provider team

As part of its remit to support start-ups and SMEs, Invest ESSEX have SME Business Managers to offer free impartial advice and business support.

Dave Watson, one of the Invest ESSEX SME Business Managers, has a wealth of expertise and contacts within the Essex SME market with over 25 years Corporate Banking experience across start-up, growth and turnaround businesses. For the past 4 years, Dave has worked with a significant number of SMEs providing hands on support and specialises in finding funding solutions.

Access to finance and funding remains difficult, which restricts SME growth. Every SME is unique, and we work hard to understand each business - developing bespoke finance solutions. We have an extensive network of contacts and it is fantastic working with owners across Essex helping them to grow their businesses.

Dave Watson
Essex SME Business Manager
Invest ESSEX

Another Invest ESSEX SME Business Manager, Graham Johnson, has spent over 35 years helping the owners of UK businesses to deliver their business plans. Having worked in relationship management roles with Barclays, NatWest and Coutts, he has provided a range of funding solutions to SMEs and larger corporates.

My role at Invest ESSEX is to help SMEs raise money, identify premises and to grow as businesses – to hopefully increase employment in Essex as a result. There is a 12-hour commitment of ‘free’ advice (covered by the European Regional Development Fund) in the form of dedicated face time but that can be increased if there is value.

Graham Johnson
Essex SME Business Manager
Invest ESSEX

SME loan team

To apply for a start-up loan or for more information, click here:

[Source: Business East Sussex, LDBG]