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28 January 2013

Cliff Maylor, CEO, North West Business Finance Ltd

Welcome to our new quarterly newsletter 'INSPIRE'

Cliff Maylor editWe enter the New Year with a great deal of optimism for The North West Fund after a strong performance last year. The Fund invested £32million into 95 businesses through the six sub-funds during 2012, and to date has created or safeguarded more than 1,000 jobs.

Our focus has always been on inspiring entrepreneurs, raising awareness about The Fund and encouraging relevant businesses to apply. This year, as our portfolio businesses continue to mature, our fund managers will work closely with them to push forward growth, while continuing to develop new investment opportunities and helping to establish new businesses.

Finding new business opportunities in the North West is key, but we are also dedicated to supporting established small and medium sized businesses that want to grow and have had difficulty securing private finance in these tough economic times.

To date we have supported the creation of 30 new businesses. Many of these are developing new and exciting products and services, helping to raise the profile of the North West as a place which nurtures and develops new talent and ideas. Some of these exciting investments are covered in more depth within this newsletter.

Our priority sector funds are making good progress, with the successes of The Biomedical Fund being recognised nationally and Liverpool being seen as a real hub for Biomedical developments.  The Biomedical cluster office based in Liverpool Science Park which was established by SPARK Impact, our Biomedical fund managers, will have seven businesses situated there by Easter with a total of 15 Biomedical businesses setting up in Liverpool as a result of our investment.

We've seen success with the region's other key sectors, with 22% of investments being in the manufacturing sector, bucking the long term trend for decline in this sector.  Our fund managers have also been able to invest in very innovative recycling schemes, energy eduction schemes and green technologies, helping to develop initiatives that reduce the carbon footprint of businesses. For example, our Energy & Environmental sub-fund worked with entrepreneur David Smith-Milne of PlaceFirst to fund a number of social housing regeneration projects in various parts of the North West, installing solar energy panels.

We're also delighted that we've been able to support businesses with high aspirations and plans for growth. The Fund for Digital & Creative supported music publisher Sentric Music as it plans to expand internationally. Likewise, The North West Fund for Business Loans, has backed technology business Trumeter which has plans to push into markets in the US, India and Malaysia. 

You can read more about some of our key investments elsewhere in the newsletter and on an ongoing basis on our website.

Each of our six fund managers will continue to work flat-out to ensure that we meet our targets and invest every single penny from The North West Fund for the benefit of the people and businesses in the North West. The interest and commitment from entrepreneurs has been great, but we're not going to sit on our laurels.  We're going to continue to raise awareness of The Fund, working with banks, professional service providers and other initiatives to make sure The North West Fund becomes a lasting legacy for the North West.

We will continue to drive the momentum of 2012 with a pipeline of investment opportunities which is already looking very healthy.  We anticipate investment levels of approximately £35m over the next 12 months and are looking forward to the new opportunities that this year will bring.

Enjoy the newsletter!

Cliff Maylor
CEO of North West Business Finance Ltd which manages The North West Fund

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