Finance for Sustainable Growth in the North

The economic impact of Covid-19 has had a significant effect on innovation-led and early-stage businesses seeking sustainable funding for the future. In this session we’ll address some of the challenges impacting these businesses when seeking finance and look at the role of impact investing on a green economic recovery from the pandemic.

Our panel of innovation experts and investors will discuss how best to support early stage and sustainable-led businesses to access finance with a view to driving continued innovation, whilst supporting the economy through the recovery period and beyond.

Speakers:

Alderman William Russell

LORD MAYOR OF THE CITY OF LONDON

Alderman William Russell took office as the 692nd Lord Mayor of the City of London on 8th November 2019. He served as a Sheriff of the City of London in 2016-17 and, in that capacity, supported the then Lord Mayor, undertaking numerous visits and official functions. On 30th September 2020 William was elected to serve a further year in office, to provide continuity of civic governance during the Coronavirus emergency.

His mayoral theme for his time in office is “Global UK – The New Future”, supporting businesses through the COVID19 crisis, speeding the recovery and seizing the opportunities of the new future.

William has over thirty years’ experience in the financial and business City including holding senior positions in the national and international Banking sector. In 1987 he went to work for First Boston Corporation before joining Merrill Lynch in 1992 as an Investment Banker in Institutional Equity Sales, working in Asia, New York and London. William is currently Chair of CDAM, a London based Asset Management business and Senior Advisor to STJ Advisors.

William served on the Board of Innovate Finance, the industry body for the UK based Fintech community and is also an educational entrepreneur, as the co-Founder and Chair of Knightsbridge School and a Director of Knightsbridge School International (KSI). William is a member of the Campaign Board for Durham Inspired, a landmark philanthropic campaign focused on ensuring Durham remains at the forefront of learning, research and education for generations to come.

Jordan Dargue

Access to Finance Innovation Manager at the Innovation SuperNetwork

Jordan is a senior talent and technology leader with over 15 years’ experience across a diverse range of sectors.  Jordan is an innovative and entrepreneurial professional with a proven ability to drive start up and business growth through raising capital and strategic development.  Jordan has an abundance of experience working directly with investors including angel investors and works with start-up companies to connect them with the right source of funding.

At Innovation SuperNetwork Jordan is responsible for leading the Regional Angel Accelerator programme, an Innovate UK Accelerator to help stimulate Angel investment in the North.  Jordan is also responsible for overseeing and developing the Newcastle Angel Hub, building an angel investment network bringing together investors from across the region to build an active investment syndicate and co-investment network.

Helen Oldham

Founding Board Director at North Invest

Helen is a Founding Board Director of a highly successful early stage investment connector for tech start-ups;  NorthInvest, a NED, mentor, and Chair of the Trustees for Smart Works Leeds which provides coaching and clothing to unemployed women. Helen supports entrepreneurs and Northern based SMEs to reach their potential.

Jason Hobbs

Chief Executive at the North East Fund

Jason has worked in the development of the access to finance infrastructure in the North East for the past 16 years.  During this period he has helped to develop and manage over £300m of investment funds, including the £160m JEREMIE Fund, and is currently Chief Executive of the £120m North East Fund.

Having qualified as a chartered accountant with Ernst & Young, he previously worked at Black & Decker’s manufacturing plant in County Durham, before joining The Health Clinic, a venture capital backed company that successfully floated on the London Stock Exchange.

Cam Ross

Chief Operating Officer at Green Angel Syndicate

Cam Ross co-founded, jointly ran and raised 2 rounds of Business Angel funding for a contact centre payments business, with an exit by sale to AIM-listed Eckoh plc.  Cam is an Aeronautical Engineer by training, and has experience in creating, commercialising and patenting new technology. He has twelve granted patents in the fields of telecommunications, payments and customer authentication. He has a practical ability to analyse and improve complex processes, from manufacturing to software systems. Cam manages Technical Due Diligence for Green Angel Syndicate.

Cam is also a Board member of SocietyWorks, the commercial arm of the not-for-profit social enterprise mySociety, which builds technology to help democracy, transparency, and community in the UK and overseas.

Ammar Mirza MBE

AMMARM

Ammar Mirza CBE, MBA, FInstLM, FRSA, is a multi-award winning, sought after enterprise, leadership & business management consultant.  A self-made serial entrepreneur with investments across a number of sectors and industries.

Over a 19 year period Ammar has helped establish several hundred new businesses. Through his various roles including chairman and founder of not-for-profit Asian Business Connexions CIC, chair of the North East LEP’ Business Growth and founder of the SME Centre of Excellence, Ammar has made a significant social and economic impact across the Globe.

Ammar’s many accolades include Maserati top 100 Entrepreneur, English Asian Entrepreneur of the Year 2019 and being appointed a CBE by Her Majesty the Queen.

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