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Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF), supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), is an initiative launched by the government-owned British Business Bank. The government firmly believes that SMEs form the foundation of the region’s future growth. NPIF therefore aims to nurture regional entrepreneurship by providing over £400m of investment to support for small and medium businesses between 2016 and 2021. NPIF's funding will support new and growing SMEs, create jobs and encourage and attract additional private sector investment. NPIF provides commercial finance through three types of product funds: Microfinance, Debt Finance and Equity Finance. These funds provide funding options and are designed to plug in common gaps in the provision of finance, giving your business access to the funding it needs to help it grow. NPIF funding is drawn from several sources including the UK Government, the European Investment Bank, the British Business Bank and the European Regional Development Fund, ERDF (including nominal allocations from 10 out of the 11 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in the North of England).
This measure can boost the entrepreneurship thanks to the support to the birth and the growth of the SMEs. An important factor for reaching this goal is the gap in the provision of finance. A negative factor is the poor weight SMEs have in the regional context.
The regional stakeholders must be sure about the financial gap in the market. The SMEs must face problems in borrowing and/or raising money. Moreover, in the target area there could be a good entrepreneurial activity. The things that must be avoided when launching this kind of measure is believing that this without collateral activities (e.g. mentorship) could improve the entrepreneurial spirit in the area.