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18 May 2012

The North West Fund partners with IoD to inspire Cheshire entrepreneurs

Press Release 18th May 2012

Cheshire entrepreneurs have snapped up over £5.7m of funding from The North West Fund since its launch, making the county the second most active in the region for investments by The Fund.

The announcement comes as two of the region's leading entrepreneurs are set to speak at The North West Fund's first 'Inspiring Entrepreneurs' event, which is being held in partnership with the Cheshire Institute of Directors on Thursday 24 May at the De Vere Village Hotel, Warrington.

Sandbach-based entrepreneur Joe O'Carroll, CEO of the UK's leading bioenergy supplier, Imperative Energy, will talk about the rapid growth of his cutting edge business and how, in February 2012, the company secured investment from The North West Fund for Energy and Environmental, managed by CT Investment Partners. The £185m North West Fund is financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Investment Bank.

Cheshire resident, textile mogul and managing director of Tarameen, Tariq Marfani, will then provide the audience with a fascinating insight into the growth of his Manchester-based, family-run packaging and textile import firm and its diversification into the eco-friendly materials market.

Statistics from The North West Fund show that Cheshire is second only to Merseyside, which is earmarked for 40 per cent of The Fund, for the number of businesses that have secured finance through The Fund and the total value of those investments. The county secured £5.77m of investment in 26 businesses, representing a share of 28 per cent of total investments by The North West Fund at the end of April 2012.  A great achievement for the county, which accounts for only 18 per cent of businesses in the region.

Recent investments in addition to the equity funding into Imperative Energy are The North West Fund for Venture Capital's  £500,000 investment into Crewe-based optical coatings manufacturer Power Vision and their £340,000 investment into Holmes Chapel-based Tyres on the Drive, both through fund managers EV.

Andy Leach, CEO of North West Business Finance, which manages The North West Fund, said: "Cheshire is clearly a region that has the appetite for business growth and is looking to take advantage of the opportunities that a volatile economy can offer by securing investment. The event on the 24th May is a great opportunity for Cheshire's entrepreneurs to get together to both share ideas and hear from people that have successfully taken that leap of faith in their businesses."

The Inspiring Entrepreneurs event in Warrington will begin at 7.45am and close at 9.30am. Attendees are asked to contact andrea.lowe@iod.com or 0161 247 7634 to register.

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