Day: September 1, 2020

£1.7m funding boost for London’s entrepreneurs

Not-for-profit Virgin StartUp announces funding from the Greater London Authority and Virgin Group to help London-based founders build more viable and sustainable businesses.

London’s entrepreneurs have today been given a welcome boost thanks to funding from the Greater London Authority (GLA) and the Virgin Group. The funding will support the not-for-profit organisation – Virgin StartUp – to run its Ready Steady Grow programme which is aimed at supporting London based founders.

The funding is valued at £1.7m over three years, half of this will be funded by the Virgin Group with the GLA funds matching the contribution. The extension is distributed by the GLA from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The Ready Steady Grow programme has been running since 2017 to support the capital’s entrepreneurs as they start, fund, and scale their businesses. It has supported more than 400 London-based founders to date, and attendees have subsequently received £4.2m

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Ann Summers threatens landlords with CVA process over shop rents

Retailer Ann Summers has warned its stores’ landlords they must take “a more pragmatic approach” to negotiations over rents.

The lingerie and sex toy chain said if this did not happen, it would ask to formally restructure its debts through a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA).

Chief executive Jacqueline Gold said landlords needed to recognise the retail landscape had changed.

Writing in Retail Week, Ms Gold said the ultimatum was “no idle threat”.

She said many landlords had been open to renegotiating rental costs but that others continued “to bury their heads in the sand”.

“I’m grateful to those landlords who have engaged in constructive discussions with us, and should we carry out a CVA, they will definitely not be compromised. To those who haven’t yet, there is still time to come to the table.

“It’s a shame we have to threaten a CVA in order to do this, but this

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