The North East longest-standing business investor has become the first locally-based firm to join a nationwide group that is working to ensure fair and affordable access to finance and build resilient economies around the UK.
NEL Fund Managers has been granted membership of Responsible Finance, a growing national network of over 50 finance providers which aims to help entrepreneurs start and grow businesses and so create jobs, opportunities and economic growth.
Organisations admitted to its membership agree to comply with a ten-point code of practice which governs areas including risk management, clarity, board accountability, legal compliance and social performance.
They are also required to produce evidence that they’re doing so as part of their everyday operations and demonstrate how they make a positive contribution to community, economic and social development.
NEL Fund Managers is currently responsible for two of the five funds that make up the £120m North East Fund Supported By The European Regional Development Fund – the £18m North East Growth Capital Fund and the £9m North East Small Loan Fund – and invests in growing businesses across Tyne & Wear, Durham and Northumberland.
It was also accredited by the British Business Bank to provide Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) loans of up to £250,000 to regional businesses that had been adversely affected by the pandemic.
NEL is already part of the North East Initiative on Business Ethics, which encourage regional firms to adopt high ethical standards through trust, honesty and transparency, and is a signatory to the Prompt Payment Code, which aims to encourage best practice around settling supplier and contractor invoices.
Chief executive Dr Yvonne Gale says: “We have a long-term commitment to living up to the ethical operating standards to which we think responsible businesses should hold themselves, and becoming part of Responsible Finance is the latest stage of this continuing journey.
“Our admission to its membership reflects the impacts that our investments have on the communities in which we’re active in terms of jobs, wealth creation, supply chain spend and financial sustainability.
“Despite the current challenging economic conditions, we’re continuing to make investments in ambitious regional firms with robust growth plans and being part of Responsible Finance will help us carry out this work in the most transparent and responsible ways possible.”
For more information about NEL’s investment criteria, visit www.nel.co.uk or contact the investment team on 0345 369 7007.