Fund to help local entrepreneurs

Tue 10 September 2019, 2:28 pm

The creation of a £2m fund aimed at supporting Southwark-based entrepreneurs to help turn innovative new and existing ideas into successful projects has been given the green light.

Southwark Council created the Pioneers Fund after it committed to offering an innovation fund for the borough’s enterprises.

This is part of the council’s drive to enhance inclusive growth in the borough, and the money will come from the London Devolution reserve - a ring-fenced amount offering Southwark’s share of London-wide retained growth in business rates.

Neil Sartorio, EY’s lead partner for local public services, said: “Through creating quality employment opportunities, the project will generate investment - and a return that can be reinvested - to strengthen its offering to the local community and wider London economy.

“EY has provided strategic advice on this exciting initiative on areas such as delivering social value, meeting local needs, and addressing challenges faced by those from underrepresented backgrounds. We are pleased to see the project progressing to the next stage in it becoming a reality and will continue to support Southwark to inspire local entrepreneurs and innovation.”

Ashley Richardson, Peabody’s lead for enterprise and innovation, said: “The Southwark Pioneers Fund will leverage some of the impressive strengths of Southwark’s economy to build a fairer local economy for all. I am confident that the benefits will truly impact local economy but most importantly local people.”

Councillor Stephanie Cryan, the council’s cabinet member for jobs, business and innovation, gave credit to former deputy cabinet member, Councillor Peter Babudu, who led work on the scheme. She added: “The main objectives of the Pioneers Fund will be to increase the creation and survival of social and commercial enterprises, widen the diversity of residents who own and lead enterprises in Southwark, create good quality employment for residents and generate wider social value across the borough.”

Southwark-based entrepreneurs and enterprises will be encouraged to apply for the first round of funding in October.