The Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership and The FSE Group are pleased to announce a new £5.5 million Escalator Fund aimed at early stage high growth potential companies in the Enterprise M3 geographic area covered by parts of Surrey and Hampshire. The Fund will help companies in Andover and surrounding areas to access the finance they need to grow and create at least 150 jobs in the region.
This announcement follows the news on Monday that Enterprise M3 had been awarded £118m of Local Growth Fund monies from government to stimulate economic growth. These LGF funds will be matched by public and private sector money and will be aimed at supporting projects in enterprise and innovation, training, infrastructure improvements and housing. The Enterprise M3 area consists of agile, high growth knowledge based businesses that have contributed to the growth of the local economy, which is currently three times the national average. Enterprise M3, working with The FSE Group, wish to support high growth companies which have the capacity to deliver significant growth and jobs by providing finance. This finance will be awarded to a range of businesses from those making their first sales to the more established who have found it difficult to obtain funding from more traditional sources.
Managed by The FSE Group on behalf of Enterprise M3 LEP, the £5.5 million Funding Escalator is split as follows:
· £4 million Expansion Loan Scheme providing between £50,000 and £200,000 to established SMEs;
· £1.5 million Growth Fund providing between £50,000 and £125,000 as an equity investment to earlier stage SMEs; (Equity investments must be matched with an equal amount of private investment).In addition companies wishing to apply to this fund will have access to an investment preparation process with our partners VitalSix.
Both schemes are funded by the Growing Enterprise Fund, established by Enterprise M3 using money from the Government’s Growing Places Fund.
Chair of Enterprise M3 Geoff French said: “helping our companies improve their competitiveness is vital if this area is to stay ahead of our global competitors. In spite of the improvements in the economic situation, local businesses are telling us that they are still finding it difficult to secure the funding they require to grow and expand. We want to support these key businesses and have established the Funding Escalator to ensure that they have access to the right finance so they can fulfil their potential, create jobs and stimulate the local economy.”
Kevan Jones, CEO of The FSE Group, added: “FSE has worked with high growth SMEs for over a decade, so we know and understand the challenges facing small and mid-sized businesses and the potential risks involved in providing funding where the banks can’t. We are delighted to be working with Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership.”
For more information or to apply for funding from the Enterprise M3 Funding Escalator, please visit www.em3businessfunding.co.uk