A NEW scheme has been launched to help people striving to set up their own small business but struggling to get the necessary finance.

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Fredericks Cambridgeshire is the latest local arm of a nationwide charity, Fredericks Foundation.

Working in partnership with Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, it is offering loans to individuals who have a strong business idea and the determination to succeed but who are unable to meet the strict lending policies set by mainstream lenders.

In September, a survey by the Federation of Small Businesses showed that more than 42 per cent of its respondents had had their requests for loans turned down.

Fenland District Council is actively supporting the Fredericks project. Councillor Chris Seaton, FDC’s deputy leader and portfolio holder responsible for the economy, said: “There is undoubtedly a real need for alternative sources of finance and the introduction of this scheme in Cambridgeshire is very welcome.

“In Fenland, as elsewhere, there has to be greater support for those starting out in the small business sector in order to get money moving around the economy.

“Sometimes people only need a small loan, ongoing support and someone to believe in them to make a real success of a new business, which changes both individual lives and local communities.”

Fredericks Cambridgeshire offers loans at any stage of a business - starting up, expanding or bridging a gap. The maximum loan for start-up businesses is £10,000, although the average is less than £5,000. For established businesses with a financial track record the maximum is £20,000.

To be eligible, people must demonstrate that they have made a genuine application for funds to their bank or a mainstream lender and been refused.

• For more information, visit www.fredericksfoundation.org/cambridgeshire

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