Michael Vassallo talks to independent accountancy practice, Tait Walker, about what's next for Maven in the North East and what is available for growing businesses in the region.1. What are Maven's plans for the coming year?
Maven is a national business with 11 offices and £600 million of funds under management and available to invest including over £235 million regional funds for investment in SMEs. We are one of the most experienced and active SME investors in the UK. In the North East we manage the £27 million North East Development Capital Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund, and the £20 million Finance Durham Fund, supported by Durham County Council.
We also have access to Maven’s other client funds which includes our Venture Capital Trusts and Private Equity arm. We are well placed to support local North East businesses and can invest from a few hundred thousand up to £20 million. This coming year will see our local team working with ambitious businesses in the region to help them achieve their growth plans.
2. Durham have a great opportunity with new funding and the North East Fund finally up and running – what would be your key bit of advice to businesses looking for funding to grow or change their business?
Durham is a great place to work and live and as you say it now has two funds both targeting investment in the region which is unique in the North East. My advice would be simply to get in touch with us. If we can assist with finance, we will, we also offer a range of business support and if the investment is not right now for our fund we will help sign post to other funds or provide support to get the business ready for investment.3. You work with lots of NE based businesses, what do you think is the biggest challenge for businesses now?
A lot of businesses can struggle with identifying and raising the right finance for their business – Maven are establishing an access to finance programme to combat this issue. Our programme is designed to educate local companies on a range of investor readiness topics in order to raise awareness of the funding available and provide entrepreneurs with the right knowledge and know-how to take their next steps towards growth.
Finding an investor that can provide follow-on funding to finance a range of scenarios can be difficult, but Maven has a range of client funds as well as regional funds under management that can support a company at almost every stage in the growth cycle. Because we have access to our national network of investment professionals we can call upon the experience from a range of individuals to support local portfolio companies.
4. As a national company, what other funding opportunities does Maven bring to the North East?
We manage 6 Venture Capital Trusts and have a highly active Private Equity arm. We have already invested in local companies through these funds in Hedgehog Lab, Orchidsoft, Growth Capital Ventures and Martel Instruments and are the main equity investor in the recently opened Hotel Indigo in Durham through our property team. We are actively looking for businesses for these funds and can invest from £1 million to £20 million to support growth capital, buy and build strategies and MBOs.
For the full interview please visit Tait Walker's website.