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Profile Spring 2008 Newsletter

Winburn Glass Norfolk Chartered Accountants: an intermediaries view

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Winburn Glass Norfolk (WGN) partner Colin Glass.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund works closely with a wide range of chartered accountants including Winburn Glass Norfolk (WGN).

Leeds based WGN has always been supportive of SYIF, particularly due to partner Colin Glass, who has a passionate interest in the small and medium size enterprise (SME) market.

Through the support of Colin a number of SMEs have benefited from SYIF funding after moving their base to South Yorkshire.

WGN was originally formed as a Chartered Accountants Practice in 1975 and has since developed an unusual business model for start-up and early stage growth companies.

Recognising that such companies are usually unable to pay fees on the traditional time-cost basis, WGN are prepared to roll up their fees until the companies are in a position to pay ongoing costs, either from fund-raising or through profit generated cashflow. In return, WGN are granted the opportunity to subscribe to a small equity stake.

Colin, who was named the Business Adviser of the Year at the Institute of Directors awards 2007, said: "This aligns our interest with that of the other shareholders and for this we provide a comprehensive 24-7 service and have the incentive to make the company succeed.

"It is a quasi-venture capital approach, our currency is our time, expertise and a contact base built up over 30 years and, as with venture capital, only a relatively few companies will hit the jackpot. However, our approach means that more companies will survive those critical initial couple of years."

Whenever funding arises in South Yorkshire, WGN make SYIF their first port of call. Using their unique method WGN, has recently introduced to the Seedcorn Fund a company called Poteez, a designer of a unique disposable potty.

Colin added: "We have a good relationship with the SYIF team and we appreciate their pragmatic commercial approach. As a gap fund, the risk profile of the opportunities presented is inevitably higher than when commercial banks are involved. But with our hands on approach we believe we can keep this risk at an acceptable level.

"The Seedcorn Fund managers at SYIF were great in the way they approached what might initially have been seen as off the wall ideas. Thankfully they put great store in the individuals involved, whom had shown tremendous commitment and in WGN's involvement as an equity partner," says Colin.

WGN are also involved with Consilico which provides energy performance management solutions, using the latest IT intelligence, and which is based at Barnsley Business Innovation Centre.

For more information about WGN please contact Colin Glass on 0113 248 7211 or email mail@wgnco.demon.co.uk

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).