Entrepreneurs are being urged to think big and consider flotation at an event designed to help them take their businesses to the next stage of growth.
In an effort to boost the number of regional businesses listed on the Stock Market and the Alternative Investment Market (AIM), business finance and support organisation NStar is joining forces with AIM and The Journal.
The trio are hosting a major event, hosted by the BBC's Peter Snow, to enable North-East businesses to learn more about the opportunities for growth offered by both markets.
The `Take AIM' event, which will be held in Gateshead in September, is targeted at the heads of ambitious businesses contemplating a float over the next few years, as well as entrepreneurs interested in learning more about the financial markets .
AIM deputy chairman Marcus Stuttard will speak at the event and he will be joined by a leading institutional investor, as well as entrepreneurs who have used AIM to realise their business ambitions.
NStar chief executive Andrew Mitchell said: "We hope to de-bunk any myths surrounding the flotation process and take a pragmatic look at why this may be a viable option for ambitious local businesses to consider when looking to raise equity." In recent years the number of successful and innovative companies across the North-East has significantly increased. However, the percentage of local companies listed on the LSE or AIM remains well below the national average. The symposium will highlight the benefits, as well as the challenges for companies choosing to take this route.
"Historically there have been more AIM flotations in other regions because these areas have tended to enjoy greater economic growth," said Mark Fahy, who heads the London Stock Exchange's regional office for the North of England.
"However, the emergence of North-East England as a thriving and prosperous area for commercial development has not, to date, been reflected in the number of applications received for market listing."
Launched in 1995, AIM has raised around £24bn for more than 2,200 companies. It offers significant tax advantages for investors, as well as a less intrusive regulatory burden for companies listing on the market.
The Take AIM will be held at The Sage Gateshead on Thursday, September 27. Booking forms are available from Julie Moorhouse on (0191) 201-6119 or firstname.lastname@example.org