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29 June 2012

The North West Fund hosts the region’s emerging entrepreneurs

Press Release 29th June 2012

More than 150 of the region's emerging entrepreneurial talent gathered to share stories and experiences at the launch of The Colours - a community being created around The North West Fund's portfolio of invested companies that are adding value by creating jobs and prosperity across the region. This first networking evening was held in partnership with DWF at Lymm Rugby Club.

The North West Fund which is a substantial pool of capital providing a range of debt and equity investment options to small to medium sized businesses to start, develop and grow is jointly financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Investment Bank. The Fund plans to invest in around 800 businesses by 2015.

One of the region's serial entrepreneurs, Stephen Falder, founder of Byotrol, a leading biotech business, spoke about the rapid growth of his anti-microbial paint business. Falder was commissioned to create a coating that would prevent mould from growing on walls. The result was Byotrol, which is now sold through leading retailers such as Tesco and Boots.

David Thomas, Motivational Speaker, demonstrated to the audience what can be achieved by thinking outside usual parameters and how varying away from an expected approach can sometimes enable achievement and success beyond all expectations - creating the "purple cow".

Andy Leach, CEO of North West Business Finance, which manages The North West Fund, said: "Byotrol's story illustrates that inspiration can be found anywhere - even in relatively mundane products. Stephen realised that he had created a product with massive potential beyond the coatings industry and was quick to develop and produce an innovative anti-microbial paint.

"David Thomas is a well-known speaker who inspires through his amazing achievements, which have been achieved despite his difficult upbringing and background. These inspirational speakers are great examples of what can be achieved through innovative thinking and reflect our aim to help to inspire our portfolio of entrepreneurs and, through our funding and support, to help them achieve or exceed their business ambitions for the benefit of the region.

"The inaugural evening of 'The Colours" networking evenings was a great success. The investee community has tremendous passion and huge ambition and gathering them together for a night of learning was very worthwhile."

Stephen Houston DWF's National Head of Corporate said: "This was a refreshingly different event and DWF were delighted to support The North West Fund and local entrepreneurs who share our values and approach to innovation and the promotion of growth of successful local businesses.

"It was an excellent evening and really demonstrated the varied entrepreneurial spirit we have in the region."

Between December 2010 and May 2012 The North West Fund has invested over £25m in more than 95 businesses. Further funding has also been earmarked to support these businesses as they grow and many more new investments are planned over 2012 and the three years ahead to 2015.

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