A fund to help new North East enterprises grow and develop has been given a £1m boost and extended by an extra year.
The North East Microloan Fund will continue to operate across the region until December 2015 and has around £2.5m to invest in new and existing small firms.
This extension and extra cash coincides with the appointment of Newcastle-based Rivers Capital as the fund manager for the Microloan Fund, which is part of the regional £125m Finance for Business North East programme managed by North East Finance.
Earlier this year North East Finance, in partnership with the Tees Valley and North East Local Enterprise Partnerships, successfully secured £17.5m of extra investment for the regional fund from the European Regional Development Fund along with the Regional Growth Fund. The extra money also meant the whole regional fund programme was extended until December next year.
For Rivers Capital this has resulted in a double boost – with the organisation winning the £6.5m Microloan Fund contract and seeing an extension to its already successful Angel Fund.
Jonathan Gold, co-founder and director at Rivers Capital, said: “The extension and extra finance is a real win for the North East and in particular those companies seeking to grow but struggling to get either mainstream finance or equity finance.
“By securing the Microloan Fund, we are in a position to work with a wider group of small, growing businesses across the region, many of whom are just emerging from the effects of the recession.
“The general ethos of the Microloan Fund won’t really change but we will be putting a greater bias to supporting those businesses that have ambitious growth plans, wanting to create greater wealth and jobs in the region.”
Rivers Capital hopes to support up to 300 small firms across the region before the end of 2015.