Hampshire based Online Safety have secured a £70,000 growth loan to further develop their web-based education and training platform which helps to keep children safe online.

Lee Hayward established Online Safety (OSUK) in 2018, bringing with him safeguarding experience and a passion for the subject. His drive comes from days spent as a police officer where he delivered tailored and specialised training on how to keep children safe online. Lee wanted to impart this knowledge further afield to a wider audience and realised that he had identified a need to not only progress online safety education to help families and school settings, but to educate any professionals or adults involved in that child’s network. All of this work has one aim: to help adults work together to better protect children whilst they are online.

Families can access OSUK’s age-specific web-based products which contain a vast library of self-help information and useful bitesize videos. These help people to easily learn about online safety together in a clear and concise way. This gives families confidence and a basic level of understanding in relation to online safety.

OSUK is also committed to training and educating schools for at least a year with face-to-face sessions and monthly calls, keeping teachers upskilled with the most current safety information. Likewise support service professionals can work with OSUK to attend online events and courses to help them put together bespoke packages to assist and support any families with whom they work.

Lee Heywood, Founder and Director of Online Safety, commented: “When I established OSUK, my vision was clear: to bring the right people together, to improve confidence and ability for everyone operating in the fast-paced digital world by increasing their understanding of the topic so that children could be better safeguarded. The funding received from the Enterprise M3 Expansion Loan Scheme will be used to market the roll-out of the premium subscription service, scheduled for this year and will also include the appointment of new employees to support this. I would like to extend my thanks to James at The FSE Group who guided me through the process to secure the funding.”

James Edwards, Investment Manager at The FSE Group, which manages the EM3 Expansion Loan Scheme on behalf of Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), added: “In Lee, OSUK has a committed director with excellent sector knowledge and contacts. The service offered to schools is far superior to the few others that are available and as a result the company has a growing revenue stream from its services to schools and local authorities, with a customer retention rate at over 90%. With the recent addition of its app, the company is well-positioned to take advantage of the strong growth prospects in this expanding market and we look forward to working with Lee to help him achieve these goals.”

Kathy Slack, Director, Enterprise M3 LEP, comments: "Knowing how to keep children safe online is a worry for any parent, particularly given the wide use of gaming and home study tools now available. This innovative platform will play an important part in safeguarding young people and I’m delighted that Enterprise M3’s expansion loan scheme could help. It’s fantastic to see businesses such as Lee’s growing and attracting new employees, especially given the strong and growing pool of people with advanced digital skills in the EM3 area.”


Oxto Energy has secured a £300,000 loan from the Enterprise M3 Short Term Loan Scheme to cover up-front costs for an overseas contract.

The finance will enable the company, which is headquartered in Guildford, to cover the advance payments for materials and sub-contractors that are required to fulfil its latest project to install ten flywheel batteries in Kenya.

Oxto has developed a new generation flywheel energy storage technology that can deliver safe, scalable energy storage at a competitive cost. The flywheel battery works alongside any renewable energy source, from large wind turbines to smaller electrical vehicle charging stations, stabilising and storing the electricity from these sources. This provides Oxto’s customers with reduced energy costs whilst helping them to achieve their sustainability goals.

George Prassinos, Founder and CEO of Oxto Energy commented: “The up-front costs associated with large contracts can be prohibitive to small businesses like ours. This finance gives us the capacity to take on the opportunities available and further the growth of the business. The FSE Group analysed our current pipeline and the companies we partner with and was able to provide the support needed for us to deliver this latest project.”

There has been a large growth in demand for cleantech power solutions globally, including in energy storage, which has traditionally been fuelled by diesel. Oxto Energy is constantly researching ways to design and manufacture comprehensive solutions that can meet the varied requirements of global companies and diverse electricity markets.

James Edwards, Investment Manager at The FSE Group which manages the EM3 Short Term Loan Scheme on behalf of Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), added: “Oxto’s highly experienced and well-connected management team has successfully developed an innovative, market-leading technology that is gaining traction across the globe. With five contracts secured and a further 30 in the pipeline, they are well on course to reach their growth ambitions and we look forward to working with George and the team to see this delivered.”

Kathy Slack OBE, Director Enterprise M3 LEP, said: “Enterprise M3 LEP has put the global goal of Net Zero at the very heart of our economic recovery plan, so I am delighted that we’ve been able to help fund OXTO Energy to further develop its flywheel energy storage technology through a project in Kenya. This demonstrates the many opportunities available to businesses within the cleantech industry and I look forward to seeing more investments like this in the future.”

The EM3 Short Term Loan Scheme is part of the Enterprise M3 Funding Escalator, £10million initiative funded by Enterprise M3 LEP. The escalator, which also includes an expansion loan scheme and an equity growth fund, provides eligible companies with loans and equity funding between £50,000 and £300,000 for activities that will deliver high-growth and employment opportunities across the EM3 area.

For more information about the Enterprise M3 Funding Escalator please visit: or contact James Edwards at tel:  01276 608531 / 07384 8167 for more information about Oxto Energy, visit:


Funding London is delighted to announce today that the Greater London Investment Fund’s (GLIF) debt fund manager The FSE Group has been accredited by the British Business Bank as a lender under the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS). This Government backed scheme is expected to run until 31st December this year. It will allow GLIF’s debt funds to offer further financial support to businesses, as they recover and grow, following the severe impact of the pandemic. The FSE Group, GLIF’s debt funds manager, will be responsible for committing the capital that will be made available under RLS.

Previously under CBILS, GLIF’s debt funds have helped 27 businesses over the course of 11 months. £11.3M has been committed to companies that had suffered a revenue loss or experienced a cashflow disruption due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Now through RLS, GLIF’s debt funds will provide even more competitive loans from £100,000 to £1m to London’s small businesses. The scheme is designed for businesses that can afford to take out additional debt finance to help them manage cashflow, growth or as an alternative to traditional capital investment.

Maggie Rodriguez-Piza, CEO of Funding London, said: ‘We are delighted that we can now offer loans through our debt funds under the Government’s Recovery Loan Scheme. As we move from lockdown to recovery, we look forward to support as many London based SMEs as possible and bridge the funding gap for those struggling to access finance.

Kala Desai, Head of Funds London at The FSE Group, said: “GLIF’s debt funds are proud to support high growth, innovative SMEs based in London, with growth loans and previously the Government backed CBILS product. Our recent Recovery Loan Scheme accreditation will provide London Investment Managers with an additional means of supporting SMEs as they scale up, facilitating economic growth and recovery as lockdown measures ease.”

Greater London Investment Fund (GLIF) operates as a £100M fund of funds managed by Funding London. It supports economic growth by providing loan and equity finance for London’s SMEs, through its investments in three sub-funds. MMC Ventures manage the equity sub-fund, and The FSE Group manage the two loan sub-funds. The GLIF and its sub-funds were launched in May 2019 by the Mayor of London. It is funded by the European Investment Bank, European Regional Development Fund and Funding London.

For more information, please visit GLIF £55m of debt funding is available, via loans between £100,000 and £1m. To apply click here

Funding London aims to bridge the London funding gap and enable real opportunities for sustainable growth in early and growth-stage companies. Returns generated from our funds are ploughed directly back into the London ecosystem, making investment available to the next generation. For more information, please visit Funding London


Cardboard Bedding Ltd, trading as Green Mile, is relocating to Prees in Shropshire after securing £180,000 from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF).

Cardboard Bedding secured the finance from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) - provided by The FSE Group, Debt Finance Fund and backed by the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

The funding will also allow the company, which was previously based in Soham, to install two additional production lines to meet the current demand for its equine and animal bedding products, as well as supporting job creation within the business.

Joey Kinnersley established Green Mile in 2012 and began producing cardboard horse bedding which is highly absorbent. The product helps eliminate odours, provides warmth through insulation and is eco-friendly and 100 per cent biodegradable within eight-12 weeks.

Joey Kinnersley, Founder of Cardboard Bedding, commented, “We were previously unable to produce enough bedding to meet demand, but this funding will allow us to both relocate and further expand the business. I would like to thank Kerry, from The FSE Group, who supported us throughout the whole process in order to obtain the funding.”

Kerry Haughton, Investment Manager, at The FSE Group, which manages the MEIF Debt Finance Fund adds: “We were really pleased to be able to support this growing business in furthering its expansion plans and facilitate a move back to its Midlands roots. The additional production lines will provide the opportunity for local job creation and we are looking forward to working with Joey, accompanying him on this journey.”

Ryan Cartwright, Senior Manager at the British Business Bank, said: “The MEIF investment into Cardboard Bedding is enabling the company to relocate back to the Midlands and expand its production capabilities – boosting both the business’s growth, as well as the region’s economy. These are key aims for the Fund and helps to evidence the role the MEIF continues to play in improving the finance landscape for small businesses across the Midlands.”

Marches LEP Access to Finance champion Paul Kalinauckas said: “This is excellent news for the business and for the Marches regional economy. The LEP works closely with MEIF to ensure a wide range of finance solutions are available to businesses in the region so that companies such as this can expand and create new jobs.”

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

For more information about the MEIF Debt Finance Fund visit or contact Kerry Haughton, / m: 07826 001902

For more information about Cardboard Bedding Limited, visit