£2.5bn targeted at helping London SMEs grow

London is the country’s epicentre of diversity and innovation and a hotspot for business growth and development. In such a competitive environment, budding entrepreneurs require a unique set of skills to ensure their business succeeds. They create jobs. They drive economic growth. Many are innovators, designing new products and services that make life more convenient, comfortable, healthy or fun.

This year HSBC has made available our largest funding package to date for SMEs, committing £2.5 billion to SME growth in London and a further £7.5 billion across the UK. We are already seeing the transformative results of this fund, which is allowing entrepreneurs to thrive in the city. From artisan tequila producers and shoe designers, to children’s nurseries and bike manufacturers, the diversity of our customers is significant. But the common thread through all of them is a passion and commitment to their business.

Millennia is one such example of a customer who has utilised the support available to achieve a successful launch of its first retail outlet. After hearing the customer’s proposal to open a sci-fi and gaming merchandise store in Westfield Stratford, HSBC provided a £200,000 loan for the refurbishment of the store and its opening stock.

Now open for six months, the store is enjoying high customer demand. “Previously we only operated online but we felt it was a very important step to open a store,” explained Millennia’s managing director Mo Parvez. “It has allowed customers to fully engage with our products. We sit in a really niche market so it’s great to now be located in an area with high footfall, which in turn is allowing our business to grow.

“Launching a business in the centre of London is a complicated and daunting task as the competition is so high,” added Parvez. “HSBC provided vital support and had a real understanding of our vision, which I think is a key thing for any entrepreneur to consider when they are seeking financial support.”

Whatever their background all entrepreneurs can help to spur growth. Having a clear view of their motivations is a vital step to help them achieve their goals. If we want to encourage other people to begin the journey of building a business, understanding the mind-set of the entrepreneurs of today is essential.

Recognising that entrepreneurs in London are the driving force behind the future economic growth is key. HSBC will continue to support existing and future entrepreneurs, improving local economies across the UK and creating more employment opportunities. We look forward to welcoming the entrepreneurs of the future.

Arjan Van Den Berkmortel is HSBC’s Regional Head for Business Banking in London