Published: May 29, 2019
Focus: Finance Durham Fund
The Maven managed Finance Durham Fund has, since its launch, invested £3.4 million in 10 dynamic businesses across County Durham, driving economic prosperity and supporting the creation and safeguarding of over 250 jobs.
Alongside funding local companies, Maven has established an ‘Access to Finance’ business support programme to help entrepreneurs throughout their growth journey.
Appointed by Durham County Council in May 2017, Maven manages the £20 million Finance Durham Fund. The Fund was established by DCC and is overseen by Business Durham, DCC’s economic development organisation. Working with the local business support infrastructure, Maven provides investment capital to support the growth of innovative and ambitious businesses across a wide range of sectors and in a variety of funding scenarios. Maven has completed investments ranging from £40,000 to £2.7 million and has successfully leveraged an additional £5.2 million in private sector debt finance for local businesses.
Notable transactions include a £1 million investment in NETPark-based water technology business, G2O, a £1.95 million investment in leading independent engineering business, Dyer Engineering, a £850,000 investment in reverse auction marketplace, honcho and a £400,000 investment in 2019 North East Business Innovation awards winners, Intelligence Fusion.
In line with Durham County Council’s economic growth strategy to encourage entrepreneurship in County Durham and help businesses grow and compete more effectively, Maven has established a comprehensive ‘Access to Finance’ programme. Through a series of business clinics and workshops, the programmes assists entrepreneurs in developing an appropriate business structure and strategy to enable them to secure growth funding and has supported over 150 of the County’s best and brightest businesses in just two years.
Working with over 20 local support partners to deliver these investor ready training workshops to companies raising finance across a range of sectors, Maven ensures the widest range of businesses can access, use and benefit from the clinics to improve their financial awareness and confidence, meaning more businesses across County Durham are investor ready.
Many viable, dynamic companies with innovative products and services, strong business plans and highly capable management teams are struggling to access the funding that will allow them to develop their businesses and market offering. The Fund is already producing greater levels of investment in smaller businesses and increasing flexibility in the type of funding available to those businesses.
Michael Vassallo, Investment Director at Maven, said, “We are delighted that the Fund has reached such a significant milestone and that we have been able to support so many jobs across the County. Many of our transactions are fantastic examples of investors in the North East working together to provide local businesses with substantial funding packages to enable them to grow globally.
“At Maven, we understand the importance of proactively providing local support, our investment team has considerable in-depth knowledge of the local SME market, allied to our national resource, we are well-equipped to deliver comprehensive investor readiness training tailored to the individual growth needs of businesses based in County Durham.”
Sarah Slaven, Business Development Director, said: “‘It is great to look back on the range of companies and projects that have benefited from the Finance Durham fund over the last two years and are already creating jobs and investing further in the County. The Fund is a key part of the wider package that Business Durham has available to make County Durham an attractive place to do business. We look forward to continuing to work with these companies and those who receive funding from the fund in the future.”
Cllr Carl Marshall, Cabinet member for economic regeneration at Durham County Council, said: “We are committed to supporting businesses across the county to grow and achieve their ambitions. The Finance Durham Fund is a major part of this and we are delighted to be able to share such positive news as we mark two years since its inception.
“Durham has an international reputation as a home for dynamic businesses. By encouraging entrepreneurship, investing in infrastructure and helping companies to access the growth funding they need, we can build on this reputation and create even more jobs and opportunities.”