Business tycoons roll out major investment to support diversification and employment in the North-east
Wednesday November 13th 2019 at 10:05 AM
A new £2 mil private sector fund has been rolled out in the North-east to support business growth and employment.
Opportunity North East, which is the brainchild of business tycoon Sir Ian Wood, has teamed up with the Andrew Salvesen Family Trust to announce the ONE Enterprise Fund.
The pot will support ambitious businesses by providing interest free loans, ranging from £10,000 to £50,000 and repayable within five years, at key points in their growth.
During it’s pilot period, the scheme allocated almost £300,000 to seven North-east firms involved in the digital, energy, food and drink and agriculture sectors.
Loan recipients also benefit from engagement in ONE’s activity in the region’s economy.
The business organisation is currently working on the next application round, which closes at the end of January 2020.
The ONE Enterprise Fund Panel is chaired by Patrick Machray, Vice Chair of ONE, and includes representatives from the Andrew Salvesen Family Trust, ONE and other senior business people.
Sir Ian Wood KT GBE, Chair of ONE, said: “The ONE Enterprise Fund is a transformational private sector project to stimulate business growth. It is ONE’s first co-investment with another philanthropic funder, the Andrew Salvesen Family Trust.
“We both want to help businesses in North East Scotland’s key sectors to achieve their growth plans and create employment and we are grateful to Andrew and his family for their commitment to this goal.
“The Fund will make a difference to the pace of change in our economy and the range of businesses that it is supporting demonstrates its relevance to the regional diversification and growth agenda.”
Andrew Salvesen OBE DL said: “The Andrew Salvesen Family Trust and ONE share a commitment to support exciting companies in the region that can demonstrate growth potential to the Fund Panel.
“We have been very encouraged by the range and quality of the businesses that have applied and been successful in the pilot phase.
“£2 million of funding is a good start, but hopefully other like-minded philanthropists might support this initiative, whereby yet more local companies could be helped in the future, providing enhanced long-term economic benefit to the North East.”
Patrick Machray OBE, Chair of the ONE Enterprise Fund Panel, said: “Our role is to ensure we make the maximum impact with the resources available to us through the ONE Enterprise Fund.
“The Panel considers the ambition of the business, quality of its leadership, its growth potential, and where the funding ask fits in the business’s growth plan.
“We want to support businesses at key points in their growth to help them get ahead faster and create employment for the long term. This and the added value of engagement in ONE’s activity differentiates the funding.”
The ONE Enterprise Fund will distribute up to £2 mil over five years, with around £400,000 of loans made in any one year.
Businesses will be active in a key industry sector in the North-easy and have to be located, or have significant activity, in the region to be considered.
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