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South Yorkshire Microloan launched for Small Businesses - A great start for small business

Published: 23rd July 2003

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New landlord Okoth Dulo of Dulos Pub Celebrates with SYML Loan Officer Fiona Greaves.

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Okoth Dulo of Dulos Pub with SYML Loan Officer Fiona Greaves.

Funding targeted at small and medium sized enterprises - offering loans from just £1k to £15k - is now available through the South Yorkshire Microloan.

Administered and co-ordinated by South Yorkshire Investment Fund, the Fund is a partnership of the four local Enterprise Agencies in South Yorkshire - Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.

Aimed at small businesses that are unable to raise finance from commercial sources, loans will be available for both start-up and existing businesses. Applicants with a poor credit history or County Court Judgements will be considered.

Businesses in the region are already benefiting from the Microloan. Husband and wife team Kerry Ann and Philip Harper started their small business in Doncaster, Direct Ironing Service, 15 months ago. Unable to get a bank loan, they successfully applied for a £3,000 Microloan.

Mr Harper said: "The loan has been vital to our success and we will be able to continue to expand the business - it’s a great scheme for businesses like ours."

The cash will be used to convert an outbuilding into a workroom, to buy new Industrial Irons and for a deposit on a new delivery van.

Another business to benefit is Wilson Mobility in Barnsley, run by Paul Wilson. Formed in November last year the business specialises in the sale and service of mobility products to sheltered housing, nursing homes and the general public.

Mr Wilson started the family run business after experiences he had as a carer for his wife who was involved in a car accident five years ago. The business received a £5,000 loan - used to purchase demonstration stock.

He said: "The services available to disabled people are often very poor – we wanted to provide a professional service and the Microloan has helped us do this. It has been a wonderful help, allowing us to do our job better and reach the people who need assistance on a daily basis."

And a Sheffield pub has been given a new lease of life - thanks to a £10,000 Microloan. Okoth Dulo has taken over a pub owned by Enterprise Inns, formally known as The Beer Engine. ‘Dulo’ - a modern style pub with traditional elements - has been extensively refurbished and now employs six people.

Mr Dulo, who had been unemployed for eight months before starting the pub, said: "Without this loan I would not be a landlord today. All too often banks don’t want to hear from people like me. The Microloan is truly amazing and if anyone has any kind of business idea I would certainly recommend it."

SYML Loan Officer, Fiona Greaves, said: "These are just the kind of small businesses the Microloan has been designed to help. We want to hear from new and existing businesses who have found it difficult to obtain finance."

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.
http://www.finance-yorkshire.com

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).