Pragmatic approach to lending

Foundation East specifically deals with businesses which have been turned down by the banks.

The remit is wide – but it can provide loans of up to �50,000 – for anything from funding capital equipment, financing a contract to starting a business.

'As long as it is legal we will look to support it,' said Richard Glinn, the foundation's marketing and membership manager.

'Our application is not easy. It is similar to the application you would provide for a bank. We need to see a business plan and cash flow.'

For those who did not have a business plan they had lots of links with organisations which would provide the help free or charge or for a low amount.

He said: 'We have business loan managers, who would go out and see the application. We go out and see them and sit down with them to see the plan. We are very much more interested in the idea and passion. We are not so caught up on the credit history.'

Once the money has been handed over the businesses speak to their loan manager monthly and they have quarterly visits. He said: 'When we have a business that is succeeding it is quite a bolster for us. We are not on fat bonuses. We love the case studies and seeing our businesses come through.'

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Foundation East is an industrial and provident society and a democratic organisation controlled by its members. These are individuals and organisations that support its vision. It raises capital by selling shares in the society and also through grants from charitable and other foundations. The company believes that there is a growing consensus across society, that a more pragmatic approach is needed to support local businesses, and of the wider benefits that can be gained from maintaining employment in the community.