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Profile Winter 2009 Newsletter

Gr- eight years for SYIF

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Bartec Auto ID Limited, SYIF investment from 2002

To mark the 25th edition of this newsletter, Profile has looked back at the achievements of South Yorkshire Investment Fund since it was launched in 2001.

The Fund has made a real impact on the economy in South Yorkshire, supporting a wide range of sectors, from manufacturing to creative and digital, environmental to health.

In the last eight years £60million including money with management has been invested into businesses to help them meet the funding gap for growth and development.

More than 2,500 businesses have received assistance from SYIF – a thousand more than the target set at the outset – helping to create and safeguard 8,874 jobs.

However, the Fund is more than a source for finance. SYIF’s expert team of investment managers have carefully assessed the commercial return expected back from every investment made.

This has proven especially successful with the finance provided creating ten times the amount in leverage from the market with more than half a billion pounds in additional sales generated – an amount which is almost double what SYIF had forecast when it was launched.

A key aspect of this impact on leveraged finance has been the achievement of mentorbank, a new innovation when it was launched, which contained incentives to business to take on mentors and non-executives to strengthen their management. These ‘advisors’ helped utilise the funding more effectively for the benefit of the company and ultimately for the Fund.

Any economic impact from the Fund, which is generated from combining both financial and mentoring support to businesses, will be re-invested back into South Yorkshire companies to benefit the region over the long-term.  The main point to take from this is the sustainable nature of the fund and the legacy it provides for the region.

SYIF has had a major influence on market making in the region. This is exemplified by the close links with business advisors and intermediaries. This has been a constant success for SYIF and the relationships 
developed with intermediaries has helped to indentify, establish and build the market for the Fund. More details of SYIF’s important relationship with intermediaries are highlighted in the third story of this e-newsletter.  

Other key partnerships have enabled SYIF to maintain a wide spectrum of finance packages available to a variety of businesses. With microloans the Fund is able to support enterprises through joint ventures with Sheffield City Council on the BiG: Make it your Business, Donbac Ltd, a Doncaster based provider of microfinance.

In the last year, Finance South Yorkshire, which manages SYIF’s Small Business Fund, joined the Community Development Finance Association (CDFA).

By linking in with the CDFA, Finance South Yorkshire has gained better access to small enterprises through networking events and seminars, designed to put businesses from the region in touch with investment opportunities.  

All these areas highlight collaboration with key agencies. However, the most important over the last eight years is arguably SYIF’s relationship with Government Office for the Region (Objective 1 Executive), Yorkshire Forward and Business Link Yorkshire.  

All have been incredibly supportive and have been the catalyst for economic development, business support and investment readiness, making the region more attractive to small business clients, other investors as well as businesses looking to move to the region.

Looking forward, as we look to the regionalisation of the fund, it is important that our existing clients and the small businesses in South Yorkshire are provided with a seamless and continuous flow of finance from the Fund. 

The last eight years of success for the Fund has provided the foundation and we are confident that this will be built upon to benefit further the South Yorkshire economy and its businesses.

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).