The Finance for Business North East Growth Fund, managed by NEL Fund Managers, has received national recognition for the positive impact it has had on the North East economy.
The Fund was acknowledged as an impact award finalist by the Institute of Economic Development (IED), the UK’s leading independent professional body representing economic development and regeneration practitioners in local and regional communities, for their Annual Conference last month.
The Finance for Business North East Growth Fund was established in 2010 to support the economic growth of the North East of England. Through mission-led impact investing the Fund’s objective was to invest £20m in 130 growing small and medium sized businesses who would in turn create jobs to fuel regional prosperity and attract further inward investment to the area.
This place-based economic development project was so successful that in 2013 It received an additional £3m, a further £3m in 2015 and another £4m in 2016. In total £30m was deployed. The mission of the fund was to back ambitious local businesses empowering local people to create their own economic future and to ensure a diverse and entrepreneurial local economy.
During 2010-2016, the North East Growth Fund invested £30m, enabling the sustainable growth of the North East economy through mission-led impact investing.
The Fund’s impact investing strategy ensured that all investments were made with a mission of inclusive and sustainable economic growth and job creation, in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal No. 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth). It has also been privileged to support businesses with the funding needed to achieve many more of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals with a view to making the North East a better place to live and work.
The Fund’s investment activity and support of the businesses it backed has led to a further £26.8m of private investment being brought to the region as a direct result, meaning the economic impact of the Funds inward investment total is currently almost double that which was targeted.
Dr Yvonne Gale, chief executive at NEL Fund Managers, attended the IED Annual Conference in London, she says “the NEL team are committed to delivering impact investing fund for economic prosperity and I’m so proud that the team’s work on this fund has been nationally recognised for its impact on the local economy