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Foundation East

Who benefits

Foundation East's mission is to support job creation, job sustainability and to strengthen communities by providing financial products and associated services.

Foundation East's borrowing customers run businesses across all sectors. What these businesses have in common is that raising funds through banks and other sources has proved difficult, for a range of reasons including, a short trading history, insufficient security, unusual business model or a lower than acceptable credit score.


Foundation East recognise that most businesses will face obstacles at some point in their journey, so they focus their energy on helping customers to overcome these hurdles to enable them to develop and grow.

An example of this is Boston Body Hub, a gym and community hub located in a rural area where obesity rates are higher than the national average. The funding mechanisms for this social business are challenging to operate; many of their contracts are payment by results models which have an impact on the gym’s ability to service debt in the same way a regular “for profit business” would operate. Foundation East recognise this is an operational obstacle and therefore provide a flexible product that enables the business to service its debt in line with contract payments.

Perk Coffee

"Starting a new business is a daunting prospect and a huge financial commitment. Foundation East listened with interest to my proposal and were hugely supportive throughout the whole process"

Kerry Kavanagh, Perk Coffee

Before Kerry Kavanagh opened Perk Coffee Shop, the nearest place for local village residents to meet up was a café three miles away. Whilst it did offer facilities for parents and locals to meet, it was not very attractive and more of a “greasy spoon” environment than a place to stop and chat over decent coffee and cake. Perk Coffee Shop is a homely and relaxed place for residents and families to meet, offering barista style coffee and a bite to eat but with the added value of providing a child friendly environment complete with small soft play area.

BeeBee Wraps

"Most of us are in business because we want to make a difference, not because we are business people, necessarily. Tapping into Foundation East’s expertise, alongside the loan has been brilliant.”

Kath Austin, BeeBee Wraps

'Wrap. Eat. Wash. Repeat.’ this is the strapline for BeeBee Wraps, an organic, plastic-free alternative to single-use clingfilm and the brainchild of Cambridge-based social entrepreneur, Kath Austin. Kath wanted to find a way to minimise her family’s use of plastic and became curious about how people kept food fresh before the invention of clingfilm. This led to kath starting the process of making waxed cotton covers and to scale the process for a world wide audience.

Fabio’s Gelato

"Without Foundation East, none of this would have been possible. Every other lender we spoke to said how strong our business plan was however the answer was always 'no'"

Hannah and Fabio Vincetti, Fabio’s Gelato

Fabio and Hannah Vincenti fell in love with gelato after a holiday in Rome. Pursuing their passion, they attended a gelato-making course. They dreamt of opening an Italian style dessert parlour in their hometown of Hitchin, Hertfordshire. Yet in spite of a sound business plan, clear commitment and a significant personal cash investment, mainstream lenders would not provide them with the finance needed to buy the energy efficient equipment they needed to start their venture.

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