Business Durham and Maven to support growth of ambitious SMEs

Business Durham has announced its appointment of Maven Capital Partners as Fund Manager for its new £20m Finance Durham LP fund, which has been set up to support the growth of businesses located in County Durham and in particular to create thousands of jobs in the County.DCC & Business Durham logo strip

Business Durham is the economic development company for County Durham, working on behalf of Durham County Council to deliver business and economic growth, and is looking to support dynamic Durham based SMEs which are otherwise struggling to access the growth finance that will allow them to develop their businesses and market offering.  Business Durham has a successful track record of early-stage investment in successful SMEs, including Atom Bank, Britain’s first digital bank, and PolyPhotonix which has produced an innovative eye mask to prevent sight loss and treat eye disease for diabetics.

Finance Durham, which will commence investments from May 2017, will help to address that situation, by supporting the growth aspirations of up to 70 SMEs that can contribute to economic development, job creation and innovation within the county, providing flexible funding packages to suit the growth requirements of viable smaller businesses. With the ability to invest between £200,000 and £700,000 in businesses of all sizes, and up to £40,000 in start-ups, the fund can invest across all sectors in companies which are based in, or relocating to, County Durham at the time the investment is made.

The Maven team has been one of the UK’s most active SME investors since 2004, on behalf of a range of client funds, and offering a range of flexible funding solutions for entrepreneurial SMEs at any stage of the business growth cycle. With a large, established team operating from a regional office network across the UK, Maven has a strong presence across the North of England and is well resourced to provide the necessary support to Durham based portfolio companies, both in terms of the initial investment process and the ongoing support as those businesses grow.  Maven was also recently appointed to manage the £57.5m NPIF Maven Equity Finance fund, part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund which will provide equity funding to high potential SMEs across the North of England, and is also currently manages the £113m Scottish Loan Fund and the £20m Greater Manchester Loan Fund.

Bill KennedyBill Kennedy, Partner at Maven said: “Maven is delighted to have been selected to manage this new and innovative fund in County Durham, and believe that by working in partnership with County Durham SMEs we can help achieve the long term growth objectives of Durham County Council. We have many years’ experience of investing in and supporting SMEs across the North and, by working alongside the existing Durham business support community, expect to raise awareness of the financial options available to dynamic, high-growth SMEs across the county. Alongside providing financial support to suitable SMEs, Maven will work closely with supported businesses to drive value creation and improve operational performance throughout the life of an investment.”

Councillor Simon Henig, leader of Durham County Council
, said: “We’re seeing more and more firms locate, start up and grow here in County Durham. This £20m is testament to our commitment to help County Durham’s economy to grow. We are pleased to appoint Maven Capital Partners as the fund managers to Finance Durham LP as they have a tremendous track record in supporting businesses to scale up. The aim is for the investments to yield a return, so we expect to see the £20m grow to help even more businesses in the future. It’s very pioneering for a local authority to do this and we’re very proud to be able to offer support in such an innovative and direct way.”

Simon Goon, managing director of Business Durham, said: “Business Durham has a successful track record in actively supporting businesses, be it through funding, advice, or using our extensive network for the benefit of the enterprises. We have taken great pride in helping entrepreneurs turn bright ideas into successful businesses and I truly believe this commitment of £20m will be seen as a transformative move because access to finance has historically been a real issue for businesses in the North East. I have no doubt that it will go a long way to address this issue and help businesses create jobs and add to the economic prosperity to the County.“

Looking for funding?

If you think Finance Durham may be able to help your business unlock its growth potential, contact our North East team now.

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