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11th October 2023

200 entrepreneurs benefit from NPIF microfinance boost


Northern Powerhouse Investment FundNPIF - GC & River Microfinance

NPIF – GC & River Microfinance has injected a total of £13m into 200 ambitious businesses across the North West, as part of their remit to deliver funds on behalf of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.

NPIF – GC & River Microfinance which is managed by GC Business Finance (GCBF) and River Capital have deployed loans between £25,000 and £100,000 into the region’s small business community since 2017.

Alternative finance provider GCBF is responsible for distributing loans to businesses in Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Warrington, Lancashire and Cumbria, whilst River Capital is tasked with identifying lending opportunities across the Liverpool City Region.

Recent transactions include the £55,000 loan to Stockport-based digital media solutions business 9Ways Digital Media to boost the firm’s working capital requirements, and a £35,000 loan to Blackpool-based REAX, a specialist access and rescue training business, to bolster its team of specialist training instructors.

GCBF, which is a not-for-profit organisation, provides vital support to companies at application stage, and works alongside entrepreneurs to guide them on their journey as they scale. It operates using a fintech platform to provide a better experience for entrepreneurs and uses data to check eligibility and make faster decisions.

When looking at the distribution of finance across the local areas from GCBF and River Capital, 84 businesses have benefited in Greater Manchester, along with 45 in Liverpool City Region, 37 in Cheshire and Warrington, 28 in Lancashire and six in Cumbria.

Whilst the fund managers operating on behalf of NPIF take a sector agnostic approach to lending, the information and communications sector accounted for 11 per cent of loans, whilst administrative and support services, along with manufacturing both made up nine per cent.

Paul Breen, director of business finance at The Growth Company, said: “We’ve worked hard over the past few years to develop a market leading fintech platform that enables us to distribute loans more quickly and effectively to entrepreneurs in all corners of our region.  We’re proud to have supported so many dynamic companies that have huge potential to become leaders in their field as they launch incredible products and services, develop the next generation of talent, and constantly look for new ways to innovate. It’s been a pleasure for us to be part of the success created by the Northern Powerhouse agenda and we look forward to continuing our work in this area to help rebalance the economy.”

Keira Shepperson, Director at the British Business Bank, said: “The partnership between the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund and our fund managers showcases the strength of public-private sector collaboration in fostering regional economic transformation. So many early-stage businesses have been underserved when it comes to accessing finance, and we’re delighted that GC Business Finance and River Capital have been able to reach this significant milestone to provide a boost to the next generation of entrepreneurs across the North West.”

Launched in 2017, NPIF was established by the British Business Bank to address the regional imbalances in access to finance by providing between £25k and £2m in equity, debt and micro finance to northern businesses. It is funded European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), HM Government and the European Investment Bank.  British Business Bank will be launching NPIF II in the first quarter of 2024

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

The MSIF group of funds are managed by River Capital Management Ltd which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the course of investment business. Financial Conduct Authority Registration Number is 180891.

BFS Funding Managers Limited is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority as a Small Authorised UK AIFM under firm reference number 608682.

Editors Notes





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