Two years after launching in 2017, NPIF – BFS & MSIF Microfinance has reached a landmark £3million lending milestone, supporting over 50 businesses across the North West.
The product fund is managed by GC Business Finance in partnership with MSIF and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF). The fund offers finance and loans from £25,000 to £2m to enable small and medium sized businesses to grow and develop.
GC Business Finance and MSIF have supported businesses across Greater Manchester, Cumbria, Lancashire, Liverpool and Cheshire, with the latest NPIF loan of £80,000 being awarded to MyEBook, a publishing platform for businesses that want to create and publish their content to an on-line audience.
The platform allows publishers of digital content to publish magazines, newsletters, brochures and catalogues in real time, bringing in web and email links, video and animation to engage their audience. The Lancashire based business already works with a number of clients, including ten UK Chambers of Commerce, and the loan will be used are to help fund further product developments, to move to a dedicated office space in St Anne’s and to hire additional sales and administrative staff. Owner Darren Fowler has worked in print publishing for over 20 years and moved into digital eBook publishing when the industry was still in its infancy.
Chris Hutchison, Head of Lending at GC Business Finance, said: “We’re hugely proud to be marking our £3m milestone as a fund manager for the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund. These loans are helping an entire generation of entrepreneurs across the North West to get the support and the confidence they need to start or build their businesses on a local, national and increasingly global stage.
“From innovative tech enterprises designing ground-breaking AI products to traditional manufacturers, the companies we have helped with NPIF investment programme are driving forward our economy by creating jobs, stability and diversity in the region and we look forward to helping many more local entrepreneurs to reach their own business and growth milestones.”
Sue Barnard, Senior Manager at British Business Bank, said: “Just two years into this fund’s life, we can already see NPIF investments having a measurable impact on business growth in the North of England. The investment in MyEBook exemplifies the work that NPIF is doing across the North. By supporting businesses with the funds to boost headcount and move premises, we are creating a more prosperous regional economy for the future, and in turn helping to reduce the historic regional disparities between the North and the South.”
Whilst there is more to do to balance the regional disparities across the country, I am looking forward to our third year, during which NPIF will continue to support established and emerging businesses in the North.”
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 Alliance Fund Managers Limited 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.