Million pound boost for Microloan Fund in the North East

The North East Microloan Fund will be operated by seasoned investment outfit Rivers Capital, and will continue in the region until December 2015

Nikita Bazko (left) and Jonathan Gold, both of Rivers Capital
Nikita Bazko (left) and Jonathan Gold, both of Rivers Capital

A fund designed to help North East small business grow has been given a £1m boost and extended by an extra year.

The North East Microloan Fund will continue to operate in the region until December 2014 - offering around £2.5m to small businesses.

The Fund, which was previously managed by Entrust, will now by led by Newcastle-based Rivers Capital.

As part of the wider £125m Finance for Business North East programme managed by North East Finance, the Microloan Fund offers loans to existing and start-up stage firms.

Earlier this year North East Finance, in partnership with the Tees Valley and North East Local Enterprise Partnerships, successfully secured £17.5m of extra investment for the regional fund from the European Regional Development Fund along with the Regional Growth Fund.

The extra money also meant the whole regional fund programme was extended until December next year.

It means Rivers Capital benefit from the Microloan Fund contract and an extension to its established Angel Fund.

Jonathan Gold, co-founder and director at Rivers Capital, said: “The extension and extra finance is a real win for the North East and in particular those companies seeking to grow but struggling to get either mainstream finance or equity finance.

“By securing the Microloan Fund, we are in a position to work with a wider group of small, growing businesses across the region, many of whom are just emerging from the effects of the recession.

“The general ethos of the Microloan Fund won’t really change but we will be putting a greater bias to supporting those businesses that have ambitious growth plans, wanting to create greater wealth and jobs in the region.”

Rivers Capital hopes to support up to 300 small firms across the region before the end of 2015.

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