Local businesses and suppliers
Lloyd's celebrates 25th anniversary of the Lloyd’s Loan Fund run by the East London Small Business Centre (ELSBC).
The fund, started in 1987 with a £90,000 donation, has enabled over 136 unemployed clients to set up their own sustainable businesses in East London. HRH Prince Charles handed over the first loan cheque for £3,000 to two young businessmen who formed a computer service for small local businesses – The Efficient Micro.
Celebration and Donation
In 2012 to mark the anniversary of this important relationship, Lloyd’s Community Programme (LCP) donated an additional £25,000 to enable ELSBC to provide more loan funding and hosted ELSBC’s April AGM celebration in the Old Library.
“We are proud to be a long-term supporter of the ELSBC whose work contributes to local economic regeneration and employment and is critical for small business in a time of reducing bank funding,” said Vicky Mirfin, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager.
Friendly Dragon’s Den event
In July Lloyd’s Community Programme organised a friendly Dragon’s Den event for seven small businesses from East London Small Business Centre (ELSBC) to get feedback on their products and services from Lloyd’s staff and market their companies, who are involved in supplier or procurement management.
“The most exciting step for a small business is to talk to and understand the client’s needs,” said Pauline Barnett, ELSBC’s Chief Executive. "It was outstanding for businesses to have the opportunity of presenting in front of experienced procurement people in such a prestigious, iconic city business". Lloyd’s Community Programme worked closely with their long-term charity partner to create an event that gave the businesses a chance to pitch and present their products to eight specialists from Lloyd’s and Catlin.
Amongst the small businesses were Image Holders who create customised displays and interactive pods for events, Ella Doran who can design bespoke products such as stationery or mugs, and Melanie Jane Campbell Florist who makes customised displays out of ethically-sourced flowers. Kate MacGarry, who runs a gallery which loans art to businesses, said she was grateful for the opportunity as it was unusual to be able to talk to city businesses.
Andrew Siddons, UK Facilities Manager for Catlin, saw great value in the event for the City, “Catlin believes in encouraging local business and this was a fantastic opportunity to meet potential new suppliers. I’m particularly grateful to meet both Image Holders and Digital Innovation Group for their innovated design and forward-thinking.”
The Lloyd’s Community Programme would like to thank everyone who gave up their time to support local businesses and made this event a huge success: Simon Harper, Kate Kilminister, Gill Leach, Adrian Pennelli, Kate Senior, Kay Smith and Bev Turner from Lloyd’s and Andrew Siddons, Catlin.