1000 North East Enterprises could unlock investment with help from new funded activities in North of Tyne

21 September 2023

1000 North East Enterprises could unlock investment with help from new funded activities in North of Tyne

A new programme is set to transform the way businesses across the North of Tyne will access finance.

Addressing long-standing barriers facing North East-based and non-traditional founders, Pathways to Funding North of Tyne will receive £900,000 from the North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) to enhance and simplify the journey businesses take when securing finance.

Open to businesses and socially trading enterprises operating across Newcastle, Northumberland and North Tyneside, the programme forms part of a wider package of investment support and opportunities for businesses funded by the NTCA. It will be led by innovation finance specialists and business support providers Innovation SuperNetwork, in partnership with North East Enterprise Agency, North East Growth Hub, NorthInvest and Fund Her North.

Estelle Blanks, CEO at Innovation SuperNetwork said: “We’ve been supporting start-up and scaling enterprises for over a decade, and it has become increasingly clear that we need more simplified and inclusive access to funding for businesses and entrepreneurs operating in the North East.

“Through the launch of the Newcastle Angel Hub in 2019, we have steadily started to build the capacity we have for businesses to access equity, and leverage further funding, especially for female founders. However, there is much work to be done to support more businesses, open pathways for under-represented groups and encourage more investors to look to the North East when searching for opportunities. This investment from the North of Tyne Combined Authority will help us grow this capacity.”

Building on the already established Newcastle Angel Hub, the project will develop an investor hub that will attract funds, including those from patient capital, VCs, banks, debt providers, public funding grants and others. It will also educate and connect high net-worth individuals with investment opportunities from across the region.

By improving the region’s access to finance ecosystem, Pathways to Funding North of Tyne will ensure more businesses and social enterprises can secure investment and increase capacity for an engaged investment hub, with more investors and funds located within two hours of the North East.  It will also connect existing funds and finance providers in the region.

Jason Hobbs, Chief Executive at North East Fund, said: “We welcome the launch of Pathways to Funding North of Tyne. The success of The North East Fund, our regional companies, and the North East economy depends on the networks and relationships that can bring entrepreneurs, angels and investment funds together. To have dedicated regional capacity to do this will give our businesses greater chance of securing investment. We look forward to continuing to work with the team at Innovation SuperNetwork and their partners to maximise the impact of this programme.”

The delivery consortia include key regional business support providers and national investor communities. North East Growth Hub is the regional online resource for business support and will help sign-post available funding opportunities. North East Enterprise Agency will share its expertise in supporting socially trading companies alongside the Innovation SuperNetwork’s established programme of investor readiness activity for businesses. Leeds-based NorthInvest and Fund Her North will help bring North East investment opportunities to investors based across the Northern Powerhouse and beyond.

North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll said: “Our region thrives when talented people are supported to develop. Securing funding for a business can be a minefield. Emerging enterprises need a clear path to access the finance they need to grow.

“Women and minority-led businesses continue to face significant disadvantages in accessing funding. This results in lost entrepreneurs that the region desperately needs to succeed. Pathways to Funding North of Tyne unlocks the expertise and capital that will deliver opportunity and help build an economy that is truly inclusive.”

This investment forms part of a wider programme commissioned by the North of Tyne Combined Authority designed to enhance the opportunities for North of Tyne businesses to secure finance, which includes Venture funding and a social finance fund which are expected to launch in late 2023. Pathways to Funding will provide the ecosystem development function that will help to bring together the overall offer impartially, prepare businesses for investment and sign-post them to the options that best suit them.

Learn More about Pathways to Funding and access to finance support.

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