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Chamber Helps BME Businesses Access Finance

Published: 24th August 2007

Sheffield BME Business Forum

Black and Minority Ethnic businesses are being given the chance to pose their questions about finance to a panel of experts at a special event.

Sheffield Chamber’s BME Business Forum is hosting its second annual Accessing Finance evening to help companies and finance organisations form stronger relationships.

Forum co-ordinator Bernadette Grocock says finance is one of the most frequent areas of concern for forum members and that there is often a lack of understanding on both sides as to the help required and support available.

The free Accessing Finance evening on September 6 is being sponsored by South Yorkshire Investment Fund (SYIF) and supported by South Yorkshire Keyfund, Lloyds TSB, SENTA and the Novotel Hotel.  The event includes a series of workshops for forum members to develop their knowledge of financial areas specific to them. The evening will also include a question and answer session.

Keynote speakers at the event include SYIF chief executive Tony Goulbourn and Bill Kimbering of Muntaz Ventures, a company that runs a number of restaurants in Bradford and has recently launched a Halal baby foods product range.

Said Bernadette: “Finance is continually one of the main areas that members require help with. Our Accessing Finance event last year proved to be popular but we felt there was still a number of areas that needed addressing and hope that the forthcoming event will help to answer the questions of members.

“The more regular contact that is established between the BME business community and financial organisations, the stronger the working relationship should become.”

Delegates will have a choice of attending seminars on loan finance, seedcorn and equity finance, financing social enterprise or investment readiness.

Over the last 12 months the forum has brokered a number of meetings with banks and finance organisations to outline the needs of BME businesses and identify areas where organisations can improve working relationships.

Tony Goulbourn and Alistair Watson of Lloyds TSB, who is also a director of Pro South Yorkshire helped to organise the meetings between the forum and the financial community.

The event is being held at the Novotel, Sheffield, on September 6, starting at 5pm with an informal networking session. Registration is scheduled between 6 and 6.30pm.

For further information about the BME Business Forum contact Bernadette Grocock on 0114 281 4748.

Editor's Notes

About South Yorkshire Investment Fund

South Yorkshire Investment Fund  provided seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15k to £2.5m, specifically to help small and medium businesses meet the gaps in funding they need for growth and development.

Created as part of the Objective 1 programme, the Fund is a private and public sector business finance provider. The European Regional Development Fund and Yorkshire Forward are investors in the Fund.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provided access to Business Angel investments from the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels and Microloans through BiG Business Loan Fund and Donbac Microloan Fund.

Finance Yorkshire has now taken on responsibility for providing gap finance in Yorkshire and the Humber.

For further details please contact Suzanne Tinkler,  on 0845 649 0000.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund Ltd is a company limited by guarantee (Registered No 3936065). South Yorkshire Investment Fund comprises three sub funds, the South Yorkshire Investment Capital Fund, the South Yorkshire Investment Development Fund, which are each managed by YFM Venture Finance Limited, and the South Yorkshire Investment Small Business Fund, which is managed by Finance South Yorkshire Ltd. YFM Venture Finance Limited (Tel 0113 294 5000) and Finance South Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 01709 386 377) are each authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provides a number of services, which are not regulated by The Financial Services Authority. These include the pilot Seedcorn Fund, BiG Business Loan Fund, Mentorbank and access to the Donbac Microloan Fund. BiG Business Loan Fund is managed by Donbac Ltd (company registration No. 01925556) and Key Fund Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 0114 242 8900).