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Fledgling business takes off with South Yorkshire Microloan.

Published: 7th July 2004

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From left to right, Ian Shipway from Ace of Cars, Richard Booler and Stan Wilson.

A local small business has made its first major sale just weeks after winning the support of the South Yorkshire Microloan.

Sheffield-based Booler’s Bio Fuel was set up by Richard Booler to produce bio-fuel which can be used in place of, or as well as, traditional diesel, in most diesel engines, with no alteration to the vehicle or fuel system. The fuel, made out of vegetable oil, is cleaner and much better for both the engine and environment.

Mr Booler, who launched his business with a Microloan, recently agreed to supply Sheffield taxi firm, Ace of Cars, with an initial 1,000 litres of bio-fuel.

Mr Booler, a former railway worker, said: "I have borrowed £6,000 through the scheme, and without South Yorkshire Microloan my idea would have never seen the light of day. I tried to get funding from other sources but was turned down.

"It’s great to get this first significant sale under my belt and I’m sure it’s a positive indication of things to come. For anyone who has a good business idea – but can’t get funding, this scheme is fantastic and I would certainly recommend it. Without Microloan the business would never have come to fruition."

Microloans are aimed at small businesses that are unable to raise sufficient (or any) finance from traditional commercial sources. Loans of £1,000 to £15,000 are available for existing businesses and up to £10,000 for start ups.

Applicants with a poor credit history or County Court Judgements are considered and applicants have the opportunity to present their business idea to a panel of local business people.

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

Microloan Loan Officer, Stan Wilson, said: "This business has only got off the ground because of Microloan – it is these kind of projects the Microloan has been designed to help. We want to hear from new and existing small 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.

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).