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SYIF: Business support key to region's economy

Published: 10th November 2008

South Yorkshire Investment Fund (SYIF) has supported Lord Mandelsons announcement to develop a knowledge-driven economy as an urgent priority.

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson was speaking at the Northern Regeneration Summit 2008 in Manchester where he outlined plans for Britain to maximise the potential of creative industries and research-based manufacturing sectors, instead of relying on more traditional financial services.

Tony Goulbourn, chief executive at SYIF, believes South Yorkshire could be one of the key regions to benefit from these proposals, once they are put in place.

He said: South Yorkshire has developed a strong core of businesses in the creative industries sector in recent years, with the development of facilities such as the Digital Campus in Sheffield and the Barnsley Digital Media Centre.

The region has also remained at the forefront for historic specialist manufacturing in key industries. Therefore, if there is a move to further support these sectors then this can only be a positive thing for South Yorkshire.

SYIF has already invested £2.2 million into early stage technology and knowledge-based businesses through its Seedcorn Fund, with the remaining £2.5 million scheduled for follow-on investment before the end of this year.

The investment benefits small and medium sized enterprises which may be seen as too high risk by mainstream investors, such as banks, offering a secure future for innovation in the region.

Tony added: We have always believed that small businesses are hugely important to the region and can play a major role in turning around the countrys current economic situation.

This is why we established the Seedcorn Fund, which has been a great success over the last 18 months, making 64 investments in the region.

Following additional support from Yorkshire Forward, we recently announced that almost £10million remains available for South Yorkshire businesses until the end of the year. This continues the work already put in place to ensure the region can weather the storm of the current economic climate.

SYIF is currently working with Yorkshire Forward and Partnership Investment Finance (PIF) to develop plans for a Regional Successor Fund, which is set to begin in the Autumn of 2009.

As mentioned by Lord Mandelson, the change forms part of the Governments Solutions for Businesses package, streamlining 3,000 services to 30, making it even easier for companies across Yorkshire to access finance.

When the Regional Successor Fund kicks-in next year it will be less confusing for businesses wanting to access the support available to them, says Tony. The more assistance we can put in place - either through financial backing or mentoring to help the businesses grow, retain employees and increase staff levels, will be hugely beneficial for everyone in South Yorkshire.

SYIF can provide seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15,000 to £2.5m, specifically to help small and medium businesses meet the gaps in funding they need for growth and development.

For more information about South Yorkshire Investment Fund, please visit www.syif.com or ring 01709 386377.

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).