26th July 2022
The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund was set up to make a real and measurable difference to businesses across the North West, Yorkshire, the Humber and Tees Valley. It has since led to the creation of thousands of new jobs, fuelled growth plans, and helped to create a more prosperous regional economy.
As part of NPIF’s 5th anniversary, we spoke to eight businesses that have secured investment to learn more about their investment experience.
Darlington-based Strelitzia Software secured a £175,000 investment from NPIF – FW Capital Debt Finance, which is managed by FW Capital and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund in March 2022. Since then, the business has digitally transformed, and now provides innovative software solutions for its floristry clients.
We spoke to Katie Bennett, Director at Strelitzia Software, to ask about the impact of investment from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund – here’s what she had to say:
Why did you seek out NPIF investment?
“We are a family business that was originally founded in 1959 and were keen to continue to develop technology tools to innovate and expand our services. We knew that investment was necessary, so after exploring various funding options that were not right for our business plan, we were relieved to come across NPIF’s support.”
Why was debt finance the right finance option for your business?
“Debt Finance was the right option for us as we’re a small family business, therefore this type of funding was a good fit for our first foray into financing Strelitzia. We needed funding to further develop the software system and allow us to expand and develop our routes to market.”
What difference has NPIF funding made to your business?
“The funding we received has made a huge difference to our business. We now manage the day-to-day running of Strelitzia, offering support to florists in the UK and internationally and are working on exciting projects such as our new ‘Wedding and Event’ feature and our card processing offering. The investment has also safeguarded seven jobs and will create a further eight.”
What new opportunities has NPIF provided you?
“We needed capital to move Strelitzia forwards and begin new and exciting development projects. The funding has meant that our core management team, myself, Amy and Mark, could relax in the knowledge we have enough capital to focus on growing the business and developing those projects.
“Since the investment, it’s meant that larger companies we want to work with have started to take note of us as a serious, professional and successful partner. We’ve expanded our Board of Directors and our name is becoming known in the Tees Valley Tech world which will in turn open up more opportunities for ourselves and the company.”
What would you say to other business owners considering NPIF funding?
“Our journey with NPIF funding has been clear from the beginning. It was quick, Rachel and the rest of the FW Capital team were friendly, and we felt comfortable with the entire process. It was right for us as a small family business looking to digitalise and develop and since the investment we’ve never looked back.”
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.
FW Capital Limited is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority as a small authorised UK Alternative Investment Fund Manager under firm reference number 506719
If you would like to meet with one of our appointed Fund Managers to talk in more detail please go to 'Funds Available' to find the Fund Managers operating in your area
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