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Fund Provides Solution For New Sheffield Company

Published: 30th May 2003

South Yorkshire Investment Fund has helped a new Sheffield IT company open its doors for business.

Fledgling firm Clearbase Solutions Ltd, which has been trading for just six weeks at Sheffield Technology Park, has obtained a £15,000 unsecured loan from the Fund.

Run by Directors Christopher Platt and Paul Lovett, the company provides a fully managed IT outsourcing service for small to medium sized firms in the South Yorkshire region. They were introduced to the Fund by Peter Rawlinson
from Sheffield solicitors Wake Smith.

Mr Platt said: "South Yorkshire Investment Fund has played an important part in the development of our company. They offered excellent advice and support and were prompt in providing the loan, which was vital to getting the business off the ground."

He added that the bulk of the loan would be used to cover start up costs and in developing a number of marketing initiatives to help establish the company in the market place.

Mr Platt said: "We are now in the position to plan for future growth. This time next year we aim to have a work force of seven and a turnover of around £ 300,000. "

Tony Goulbourn, Chief Executive of South Yorkshire Investment Fund Ltd, said: "The Fund looks to provide funds for businesses in a diverse range of industries. Clearbase Solutions came to us with a realistic business plan with the ambition to see it through to fruition."

The Fund provides development and risk capital ranging from £15k to £1m to businesses in, or prepared to relocate to, South Yorkshire.

It offers two key products, one of which is loans ranging from £15k to £150k with effective annual interest rates from as little as 3% per annum.

The second product is an equity-linked package, ranging from £50k to £1m where the Fund takes a minority stake in the business.

The equity-linked package, with its competitive fees, is designed for new or existing businesses with potential for rapid expansion. Investments can be made as a mix of ordinary and preference shares or subordinated loan stock.

A unique feature of the way the Fund can help businesses is the Mentorbank project, which provides subsidised mentoring support to help management teams grow the business more profitably.

The Fund’s products are designed to support businesses through critical stages of growth. From start through to major expansion, the fund will provide financial support. If a business is looking to start up, invest in new technology or equipment, enter new markets or locate into South Yorkshire it should call South Yorkshire Investment Fund first.

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).