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City businesses boosted by new micro-loan fund

Published: 23rd July 2008

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Jonathan Dixon (left), deputy chief executive of SYIF talking to businesses at the Meadowhall Enterprise Show.

Hundreds of companies in areas of Sheffield could benefit from extra investment, following the launch of a new Fund aimed at start-up and existing businesses.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund (SYIF) has joined forces with Sheffield City Council under its £26 million BiG: Make it your Business initiative, which aims to get more Sheffield people to start and succeed in self employment and in business.

The new BiG Business Loan Fund will provide loans from £1,000 to £5,000 for new start businesses and up to £15,000 for businesses that have completed six months of trading.

BiG Business Loans are available to sole traders, partnerships or owner-managers, either starting a new business or developing an existing one.

The Fund will target people who struggle to raise funds from banks because their venture is too early-stage or they have a poor credit history.

SYIF will assist with the completion of the loan agreements, distributing the loan and collecting repayments. Their partnership with BiG was highlighted at the Enterprise Show at Meadowhall, attended by 1,000 people.

Tony Goulbourn, chief executive of SYIF, said: "We are delighted to work with the BiG Team to provide these loans and help boost enterprise in Sheffield.

"SYIF is continuously looking to support sustainable business growth and increase the success rate of locally-owned businesses across South Yorkshire. This initiative will help make enterprise accessible for all and encourage entrepreneurship to grow, particularly in Sheffield’s poorest neighbourhoods."

A BiG Business Loan can be used for:

  • Start up costs including franchises and purchases of existing businesses
  • Working capital
  • Asset purchases, excluding non-commercial vehicles
  • Property purchases, property extensions or alterations

SYIF will be assisted by Donbac Ltd, a Doncaster based loan fund and Key Fund Yorkshire, a specialist investor in social enterprises. Both have a number of years experience in lending to small and medium sized enterprises in this client group.

For further information about BiG Business Loans please contact Fiona Greaves at SYIF on 07931 904082 or email fionag@syif.com. For more details regarding BiG, visit www.thebigwebsite.org.uk or call 0800 043 5522.

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.
http://www.finance-yorkshire.com

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).