As part of this Joint Conference, EMN and the cdfa offered the chance to meet with several British microfinance and community development practitioners. This field visit took place on Wednesday June 23, from 14h00 to 16h30. The visit to Fair Finance was organised on Friday 25 June, from 15h00 to 17h00.
Participants (30 maximum) met with one or another of the following institutions (10 people per organisation): East London Small Business Centre, London Rebuilding Society and Fair Finance.
Moreover, participants had the opportunity to ask every question they wanted to the practitioners and also had the chance to interact with microentrepreneurs.
Established over 30 years ago, East London Small Business Centre supports and develops new and existing businesses through a range of business support services. A key part of its services is the loan fund activity which is in excess of £6 million. Every year, over £2 million is lent to start-ups and existing businesses. All its loan fund applicants are supported through our business support services - ensuring a survival rate higher than the national average.
For more information see the website www.goeast.org
LRS specialises in creating innovative products which bridge the gap between sources of finance and the people who really need it. It lends to enterprises that have social as well as financial objectives, but which find it hard to raise funds from conventional sources. LRS is also piloting a home improvement scheme, based on equity reversion, which is aimed at vulnerable, low-income homeowners whose homes are unhealthy and dangerous.
For more information see the website www.londonrebuilding.com
Fair Finance is a social business based in London, offering a range of financial products and services designed to meet the needs of people who are financially excluded. It aims to revolutionize personal finance, starting with the people whom the mainstream providers have left behind.
For more information see the website www.fairfinance.org.uk