Investing for positive impact, or impact investing, is not entirely new but it’s intention as an investment strategy has certainly gained a lot of momentum in the past few years, leading to an increasing demand from investors everywhere who want more for their money.
News and current affairs keep us all fully appraised on the benefits of impact investing and the positive effect that it has globally, with reports on its successes in helping solve the big world problems such as poverty reduction and moderating climate change. However, what we hear less about is the effect that impact investing can have locally – right here in the North East.
Investing in its many forms happens every day, with the most common and traditional target output being financial. However, when positive screening methods are applied, that is when results can be observed on a much wider scale. There’s absolutely no reason why these positive effects have to be overseas or only for the largest of global challenges, impact investing can just as rightly be applied to solving local challenges.
The North East Local Enterprise Partnership summarises some of our region’s key challenges in its Strategic Economic Plan:
“Our plan is strongly focused on addressing our key challenges that include fewer employment opportunities compared to other parts of the UK and improving the quality of jobs. We also have underlying issues including lower productivity performance and higher levels of economic inactivity and exclusion” – Read the plan in full here.
To tackle the challenges highlighted above, NEL invests in businesses who have the ambition and ability to expand operations and create quality jobs, as well as those who are innovative in their approach to increase workplace productivity and enhance profitability as a result.
NEL Fund Managers is the only fund management firm to be awarded two of the five funds that make up the £120m North East Fund Supported By The European Regional Development Fund, created to support economic growth by enabling growing businesses to access the funds they need to create jobs and attract investment into this region.
The £18m North East Growth Capital Fund has been designed to create over 800 jobs in more than 70 regional firms over the next five years, and offers unsecured investments of up to £500,000 to established businesses looking to realise their growth potential.
Aimed predominantly at smaller SMEs, the £9m North East Small Loan Fund typically offers loans of between £10,000 and £50,000 to businesses in the same areas, and is designed to assist with the creation of over 500 new regional jobs in more than 320 SMEs over the same period.
NEL Fund Managers has now been investing for positive impact end economic development in the North East of England for 30 years, and in that time, we’ve invested over £98 Million in more than 800 business plans. These businesses have, as a direct result, gone on to create thousands of jobs within the local area. We like to feel that we’re doing our bit for the North East and its future generations and especially in these uncertain times, we would encourage businesses, investors and consumers to join us in whatever way possible – keeping it local.
For more information on NEL’s impact investing activities please visit our website www.nel.co.uk.