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SYIF reaches 500th milestone Investment

Published: 19th December 2008

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(left to right) Dennis Engel, founder and managing director of Web Marketing Group with SYIF investment manager Chris Fitzsimmons and Tony Goulbourn, chief executive of South Yorkshire Investment Fund.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund has made its 500th investment in local business.

The Fund completed the milestone with a £300,000 equity linked investment in Web Marketing Group. A further investment of £200,000 will follow this month (December 2008).

Internet marketing experts Web Marketing Group (www.webmarketinggroup.co.uk) specialise in getting more traffic through company websites. It works with 800 businesses around the country to increase search traffic through link-building, copy-writing and website design.

Web Marketing Group will use the funding from SYIF to open a new regional base in South Yorkshire, adding to the sites it already has in Harrogate and Peterborough. The business, which was established in 2000, has enjoyed rapid growth.

Dennis Engel, founder and managing director of Web Marketing Group, said: “We wanted to expand the business and reach out to a new area of the country.

“South Yorkshire was an excellent opportunity to enable us to achieve this. The region is a good place to invest in, with a highly skilled population and a large catchment area. It therefore filled our objectives as a company.

“Gaining access to SYIF funding was also an attractive proposition to us and we will now look to use the money to bring in up to 20 new employees from within the local area to service the new office in South Yorkshire once it opens.”

Tony Goulbourn, chief executive of South Yorkshire Investment Fund, said: “The investment in Web Marketing Group is an example of how the Fund can play a key role in the region’s economy.

“By attracting companies to South Yorkshire, it not only helps provide new employment opportunities for local people, but increases the services available to support the development of businesses in the area.”

Since it was established in 2001, SYIF has invested almost £50million in South Yorkshires businesses (including money with management), created and safeguarded 7,987 jobs and helped to generate more than £425million worth of additional sales.

Tony added: “These latest figures show that SYIF has achieved all of its targets in providing business support to the region, making it one of the most successful Funds in the country.

“In terms of additional sales generated by the investments, we are currently more than 50 per cent above our initial aim, which is great news and a huge benefit to the region.”

SYIF provides seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15,000 to £2.5million, and is only one of four Funds of its kind in the UK, the others being in Merseyside, Cornwall and Wales.

It was created to specifically help small and medium-sized enterprises meet the gaps in funding they need for growth and development. At present it has around £10million still available for investment until the end of the year.

At present SYIF is working closely with Yorkshire Forward and Partnership Investment Finance (PIF) to develop plans for a Regional Successor Fund, which it is anticipated will start investing by autumn of 2009.

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).