Thursday, February 23, 2017

News: Find out about £400m SME fund

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A briefing event for the Sheffield city region (SCR) on accessing the new £400m Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) is taking place next month.

Based in Sheffield, the NPIF will work with ten Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), combined authorities and Growth Hubs, as well as local accountants, fund managers and banks, to provide a mixture of debt and equity capital to northern-based SMEs at all stages of their development. NPIF will provide funding to fund managers who will offer Microfinance (£25,000 – £100,000), Business Loans (£100,000 – £750,000) and Equity Finance (up to £2m).

A briefing event to tell local partners about the new fund and how to access it is being held in Sheffield on March 2 in collaboration with the SCR LEP.

The fund builds on the work of initiatives backed by European money such as Finance Yorkshire - the regional funding body that has invested £105m fund into companies in Yorkshire and Humber.

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In November, The British Business Bank, which is overseeing the fund and investing £50m of its money, published a report to mark its second birthday which details how the NPIF will offer solutions for smaller businesses looking to grow, as well as identifying the strengths and challenges within the region.

An Independent Economic Review of the Northern Powerhouse, as well as highlighting areas of focus that could drive future growth, identified a number of existing strengths including capabilities in Advanced Manufacturing, Energy, Health Innovation and the Digital Economy.

Officially launching the fund, Keith Morgan, CEO at British Business Bank, said: "The North of England has a long and proud history of driving global innovation and economic progress. The region has more high-growth businesses than London and, at close to one fifth of UK GDP, is larger than the economies of Greece, Denmark, Austria and Belgium.

"The region has enormous untapped economic potential that can be realised by improved funding options and opportunities. The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund represents a co-ordinated policy approach to help realise this potential across the North."

Working with LEPs, the NPIF has attracted investment 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.

The specialised fund managers been appointed to manage the fund are:

- Microfinance: Business Finance Solutions & MSIF, Finance for Enterprise & Business Enterprise Finance
- Business Loans: FW Capital and Enterprise Ventures
- Equity Finance: Maven Capital Partners and Enterprise Ventures

NPIF website

Images: NPIF


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