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Investment Fund fills finance gap in South Yorkshire

Published: 19th June 2002

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New deal: Tony Goulbourn, Chief Executive of South Yorkshire Investment Fund (left) with Mike Pound, Managing Director of Qualsys.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund has completed its first half dozen loans and investments, amounting to a total of £750,000. This represents the first milestone in the new Fund, launched to stimulate business growth in South Yorkshire.

The £50m Fund's first investment was a £50,000 loan to Qualsys, a Sheffield-based company that makes document-handling software. The deal was completed in April.

Mike Pound, Managing Director of Qualsys said: "The package is just right and appropriate at this phase in our business planning. We were attracted to the Fund because it provides support above and beyond pure cash including its mentoring and non-executive director support services.

"We have a good level of skills in our team but we identified a specific gap that the Fund will help us fill."
Since April the Fund has invested a further £700,000 in five further businesses spread across South Yorkshire in Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield. These include a mix of exciting growth projects including management buy-out (MBO) and buy-in (MBI) opportunities, a start-up business and two companies seeking expansion finance for new opportunities. The deals range in size from £30,000 start-up finance to £500,000 for a management buy-out.

Tony Goulbourn, Chief Executive of South Yorkshire Investment Fund, said: "We are delighted with the quality of the business proposals being presented to us and the team get a real buzz from helping South Yorkshire entrepreneurs realise their ambitions, helping to create prosperity for the region.

"With the first £750,000 already invested and more deal completions imminent, we look forward to helping many more businesses over the next five years."

The Fund provides development and risk capital ranging from £15,000 to £500,000 to businesses in, or prepared to relocate to, South Yorkshire. A unique feature of the Fund is its Mentorbank project, which provides subsidised mentoring support to help management teams grow the businesses more profitably.

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).