Jonathan Gold - Rivers Capital PartnersNew data from the managers of the North East Microloan Fund has shown that companies in the South Tyneside area are more successful in applying for Microloan funding than those from other areas of the North East.

Rivers Capital Partners, which manages the £7.5 million North East Microloan Fund, found that applications for loans from companies based in South Tyneside were almost 14% more likely to be accepted than the regional average, with 54.5% of them being successful in securing investment.

Rivers Capital has managed the Microloan Fund, which since it was established in 2011 has invested in 225 established SMEs and 222 start-ups. When it took over managing the fund Rivers Capital pledged to do more to help established SMEs, in addition to the start-ups the fund had been used to help previously.

Across the region, 447 companies, including 36 in South Tyneside have benefitted from 490 investments from the North East Microloan fund since 2011, of which many have received follow-up investments. The fund is part of the £142 million Finance for Business North East programme, which is funded by the European Investment Bank, the Regional Growth Fund, and the European Regional Development Fund.

Jonathan Gold, Managing Director of Rivers Capital Partners, said: “By making 490 investments in 447 companies, the North East Microloan Fund has created more than 500 jobs and safeguarded at least 750 more. By focussing the fund more on helping established SMEs to grow we can be confident that more of the jobs created are sustainable in the medium to long term. It is really important that SMEs see how a small loan can help with their ambitions for growth.

“We’re delighted to see that such a high percentage of applications made by South Tyneside companies are successful. Help from the local council in pointing businesses towards finance, including less traditional sources of finance, has undoubtedly helped with this. Our ‘Meet the Funder’ events happen regularly at business centres throughout the area and are a great way for businesses to learn about both microloans and angel investment.”