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Fund's Mentorbank Scheme Given Thumbs Up by Sheffield Firm

Published: 2nd June 2003

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Mentor Derek Nice with Managing Director of AWV Turner, Graham Hall and Mentorbank Manager Jonathan Dixon

A Sheffield firm has hailed South Yorkshire Investment Fund’s Mentorbank programme as a great success.

AWV Turner & Co Ltd is just one of a number of firms to take advantage of Mentorbank, which provides subsidised mentoring support to help management teams grow the business more profitably.

The Fund backed the buyout of AWV Turner with a £40,000 loan and introduced Derek Nice to the company as a mentor. AWV Turner supplies consumables to the engineering and manufacturing industries including the supply of lubricants, hand and power tools, abrasives and hygiene and specialist banding products.

Running a company on your own can be a lonely business and Directors often have no one they can confide in, discuss their worries and plans for the business.

This is why the Fund always seeks to introduce a mentor to the businesses it invests in through its Mentorbank initiative. Mentors provide specialist professional support and are drawn from a wide range of experienced businessmen and women.

Managing Director of AWV Turner, Graham Hall, who bought the company in September 2002, said: "Mentorbank has really paid off for us. Derek has a wide range of experience in areas that I do not. He has offered invaluable support and expertise in areas including accounting, contracts and legal issues."

Formerly a Finance Director at Whitbread plc, Derek Nice has a wide range of industry experience and provided a new perspective to Graham’s business.

Mr Nice said: "AWV Turner is a company with real potential, led by management who are committed to developing their skills and further expanding the business.

"I have worked in business most of my life and it is impossible not to pick up a great deal of knowledge. I am now in the position to add real value to fast growing businesses like AWV. More importantly mentoring is something I genuinely enjoy and I get enormous satisfaction helping a business like AWV develop and grow."

Tony Goulbourn, Chief Executive of South Yorkshire Investment Fund Ltd, said: "The partnership forged between Graham and Derek is a shining example of how small businesses can benefit from working with experienced mentors.

"Graham and Derek have developed a close working relationship - an essential element to any mentoring process. The Mentorbank initiative is now a proven model and our mentors bring certain key strengths to businesses that would otherwise have had to pay a fortune for access to such expertise."

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.

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).