Funding News Announced for North East Businesses.

The £125m Finance for Business North East programme is a ground breaking suite of seven investment funds designed to drive future economic growth in North East England.

As the first of its kind in England, the super-fund will blaze a trail through to 2014 by
providing vital investment to hundreds of fast growing SMEs and increase the momentum of business enterprise and SME development.

The aim is to support 850 businesses across all sectors through loans and equity investments before 2014 from Tyneside to Teesside.

Finance for Business has been made possible by a unique collaboration between the European Investment Bank (EIB), European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and regional development agency One North East (ONE). The EIB has provided funding of £62.5m with ERDF and ONE supplying the remaining £62m.

The overall programme is now managed and co-ordinated by North East Finance (http://www.northeastfinance.org/), which acted as a strategic advisor in the creation of the funds. These include the £20 million Accelerator Fund managed by Northstar Ventures; and Entrust which manages the £5 million Microloan Fund.

The Accelerator Fund is targeted at high-growth, innovative companies at an early stage of their development, primarily the start-up or seed capital stages.

Investments range from £100,000 to £750,000 in the first instance, with the maximum amount invested into any one company limited to £2 million. For further details and eligibility please visit http://www.northstarventures.co.uk/our-funds/current-funds/north-east-accelerator-fund-20-million.htm. (Source: Northstar Equity Investors,11/04/2012)

The Finance for Business North East Microloan Fund is the seventh fund of the £125m Finance for Business North East Programme. Loan finance is available for small to
medium-sized businesses based in the North East of England. The fund aims to
support the creation of new enterprises and the growth of existing micro and
small businesses (including third sector organisations) across the North East
of England.

This fund offers loans of between £1,000 and £25,000 to individuals and businesses in the region for start-up and expansion projects that have potential to create jobs and generate additional economic value. For further details and eligibility please visit http://www.entrust.co.uk/money/north-east-microloan-fund. (Source: Entrust, 04/04/2012)