Since its inception in 1982 as an innovative response to rising unemployment, through to the present day as a unique and leading economic development company, GLE has been working to create jobs, grow businesses and support the UK's most disadvantaged communities move into work.
Set up by London's Greater London Council (GLC), the Greater London Enterprise Board was the first Enterprise Board to be established, setting the foundations of the model in use today, with an innovative structure of a publicly owned independently run company which pursued both profit and not for profit activities.
When the GLC was abolished in 1986 the Board became an independent company, changed its name to Greater London Enterprise (GLE) and became reliant on its own income to fund its activities. Profit from GLE's commercial activities were reinvested in delivering not-for-profit activities.
During the 1990s public policy became increasingly focused on urban renewal, which resulted in GLE providing technical assistance and consulting services to the London boroughs and organisations in the field of urban regeneration.
In 2001 GLE‚Äôs business support arm was launched focusing on black, Asian and minority ethnic businesses, which now finances, advises, mentors and trains thousands of people every year and saved over 1,000 jobs in its first year.
With an increasingly global business community, GLE has since also taken on the delivery contract of the UK Trade & Investment service for London and the South East, helping small and medium sized companies to trade globally.
In 2008 the Group acquired the YFM group of companies, a private equity and venture finance fund management group with a range of business development activities.
As the UK‚Äôs most active investor in SMEs, YFM provided the Group synergies with our existing equity finance and enterprise development services and the opportunity to expand and deliver our services at a national level.
After almost 30 years, GLE remains focused on enterprise and alleviating worklessness whilst it has created a sustainable private model for economic development - publicly owned but independently run.