Finance Durham is a £20m investment fund from Durham County Council, managed by Business Durham.
The fund will help businesses in County Durham grow creating thousands of jobs by making financial investments in local businesses based in the county supporting up to 70 companies in the county in its first ten years with investments ranging from £10,000 to hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Finance Durham will make similar investments to those of a traditional venture capital fund meaning that not only will companies benefit from the support but, by targeting businesses with potential for high growth, Finance Durham is estimated to make a return of around £6 million in its first 10 years.
Managed by Maven Capital Partners, the fund was launched early 2017 and started taking applications later that same year.
Although authorities have created their own investment vehicles in other parts of the UK, it will be the first of its type in the North East.
Business Durham, the economic development company for County Durham, working on behalf of Durham County Council, came up with the idea to help create a more sustainable approach to helping businesses to grow.
Simon Goon, managing director of Business Durham, said: “I honestly think that in five years time we will look back and see this as a transformative time for Durham. No other local authority is doing this to the extent that we’re doing.
“Access to finance has historically been a real issue for businesses in the North East, and while funds like JEREMIE have done a lot to redress that, more can be done. With Business Durham’s support, we can add our expertise and offer a sustainable financial vehicle that really adds value to the economy.”
Funding will range between £200,000 to £700,000, with ten per cent of the fund being smaller investments, between £10,000 and £40,000, for incubation businesses. Businesses need to be based in County Durham or be relocating to the region when the investment is made.
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