The North East’s most active business investor has forged a new, long-term partnership with The Prince’s Trust to help support the development of the next generation of regional entrepreneurs.
NEL Fund Managers will be supporting The Trust’s regional activities through a range of practical initiatives, which will be designed to have a positive impact on the young people with whom The Trust works by enhancing their knowledge of how businesses operate.
Members of the NEL team will share their commercial expertise by acting as mentors to some of the young participants in The Trust’s programmes, while work experience opportunities will also be provided.
Staff will also undertake fundraising activities for The Trust, with marketing executive Suzanne Smith already signing up to take part in this year’s Great North Run on the youth charity’s behalf.
Originally set up in 1989, NEL Fund Managers provides unsecured mezzanine investments to small and medium-sized businesses across North East England and has managed fifteen funds with a combined value of over £90m since it was set up in 1989.
It is currently responsible for managing the Finance For Business North East Growth Fund, a general investment fund aimed at businesses at a development and growth stage based anywhere in the region, from which NEL has so far invested over £25m.
Yvonne Gale, chief executive at NEL, says: “Encouraging entrepreneurialism is vitally important for the future health of the North East economy, and we see this long-term partnership with The Prince’s Trust as a way for us to play a direct role in doing just that.
“The Trust plays an invaluable role in encouraging and enabling disadvantaged young people across the North East to set up their own companies, and there are hundreds of examples of young people who have overcome challenging beginnings in life with The Trust’s help to establish themselves as successful businesspeople.
“Experience tells that every great business starts with a good idea, and our aim is to use the expertise and knowledge that our team has gathered over many years of working with growing North East firms to help young regional entrepreneurs turn their particular ideas into sustainable, successful businesses.”
Celebrating its 40th year this year, The Prince’s Trust supports 13 to 30 year-olds who are unemployed or struggling at school to transform their lives through a wide range of different programmes and activities. This year, the charity will aim to support 59,000 young people across the UK, with three in four young people moving into work, education or training.
Laura Rose, Head of Philanthropy at The Prince’s Trust, adds: “We are delighted to have NEL on board to help us raise funds to support the 4,000 young people we reach each year in the North East. We look forward to working in partnership through a range of initiatives, giving local young people support to develop their business ideas and access vital vocational training.”
For more information about NEL’s investment criteria, visit www.nel.co.uk or contact the investment team on 0345 369 7007.