Financing of the Fastest 50
Oct 15 2008 By Jason Hobbs
REVIEWING this year’s North East Fastest 50 is a rewarding experience. The success of these businesses is clear evidence of the region’s growing innovative and entrepreneurial spirit.
While the North East is not sheltered from the current economic downturn, the achievement of these companies gives us cause for optimism.
It is, after all, these organisations that are creating our wealth, future prosperity and jobs.
They are key drivers of economic growth and an important barometer of North East success.
The breadth and diversity of the names on this year’s list is something to celebrate. Many are market leaders in their respective fields, pioneering exciting, new technologies. The competition to be in the Fastest 50 rises every year and is testament to the North East’s entrepreneurial endeavours.
Apart from the ambition and drive that sets them apart, many share another common bond: having accessed investment finance to support their growth. For all growing businesses, access to finance is critical. Without this lifeblood, it’s impossible for these companies to achieve their potential.
Significant progress has been made to improve access to finance and develop a strong investment culture in the North East in recent years.
These efforts are already bearing fruit as this year’s Fastest 50 shows. Many of today’s fastest growing companies have been beneficiaries of early stage and growth finance from sources such as the North East Proof of Concept and North East Co-Investment Funds.
These funds are helping to meet the investment needs of local businesses.
But to continue being successful, the region needs to build on this platform, to create further sources of finance and maintain the strong network of support and advice. North East Finance (NEF) will use sound market knowledge and experience to ensure that regional investment funds continue beyond December 2008.
It’s a critical time for venture funds in the North East and NEF will be working alongside One NorthEast to develop a portfolio of funds in the region of £125m.
This development means that for the first time the region has a single body with overarching responsibility for securing and co-ordinating our financial resources.
The result will be greater clarity and integration in the
We want the North East to be able to punch above its weight when it comes to attracting investment finance. NEF will be working alongside appointed fund managers, professional intermediaries and other investors to achieve this and build on the success of equity and mezzanine funds.
With the finance in place, the future for tomorrow’s Fastest 50 is bright.
Jason Hobbs, finance director,
North East Finance