Helping SMEs raise finance for innovation and growth

A professional advice project is helping start-up and established small and medium-sized businesses to flourish.

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One of the SMEs benefiting from the project was Inspiral Design, a London-based graphic and web design company. One of the SMEs benefiting from the project was Inspiral Design, a London-based graphic and web design company.

The Investing for Success Programme is a project that has helped meet the needs of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in London for specialist advice on how to access finance to support innovation and growth.

Since the project got underway in 2009 it has helped 238 SMEs improve and develop their business plans and has been successful in supporting 56 of these businesses to raise GBP 1 511 432 (EUR 1 741 163) in investment capital to help grow their businesses.

Expert business advice is provided through seminars and one-to-one individual support, on a wide range of topics such as raising equity, angel funding, mezzanine funding or other specialised investment solutions.  Other areas of advice include developing a business model, formulating a business plan, marketing, financial forecasting and presenting company information effectively to potential funders.

Advice provided on a wide range of business topics

The project is delivered by Enterprise Enfield in partnership with three other business support organisations in north London: Harrow in Business, HBV and Prevista. 

An example of a company that has been helped by the programme is a north-west London graphic and web design firm called Inspiral Design.  The company’s owners had identified a need for finance to expand their business and move from their original converted garage office to larger and more professional premises.  Soraya Syed and Mukhtar Sanders approached Enterprise Enfield for assistance developing their business plan and financial information to submit to potential lenders.  With the help of expert advice and guidance, a robust plan was prepared which resulted in the business successfully securing GBP 65 000 (EUR 74 933) of bank finance to help them purchase new premises to accommodate their growth plans.

Enterprise Enfield’s chief executive officer Des Johnson said that, especially in view of the economic climate, the project had been a great success. “Over a number of years, business owners have had a particularly challenging time raising finance,” he said.

“The Investing for Success programme was a much-needed scheme which has helped many London businesses overcome the difficulties they faced, enabling them to access free expertise and the support required to become finance ready and improve their chances of securing the funding needed to build and develop their businesses. Through the scheme, Enterprise Enfield and its partners have successfully helped businesses raise over £ 1.5 million and have safeguarded 73 jobs which were at risk before the support was provided.”

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Investing for Success” was GBP 2 700 000 (EUR 3 100 000), of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributed GBP 1 350 000 (EUR 1 570 000) through the “London” Operational Programme for the 2007 to 2013 programming period. The match-funding includes financial support from the London boroughs of Enfield and Harrow.

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