The Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and its Growth Hub works with a number of partners to provide support for businesses in the region.
There are some excellent examples of how different types of funding and support have allowed businesses of different sizes and sector the opportunity to grow.
Recently, working with partners the Humber LEP has been able to guide and fund the growth of businesses in a number of sectors, with a particular focus on equity funding.
Words by Kishor Tailor, CEO of Humber LEP
Taking your business forward can be a difficult task on your own. Often it is the case that businesses are aware of what needs to be done in order for them to grow, however they are unsure how this has to be done, or perhaps they are not aware of what support is available to them.
Our work at the Humber LEP is to drive this growth, and to allow businesses within the Humber region the opportunity to access as much support as possible.
Providing support through our Growth Hub and our partnership work has seen a large number of businesses from different sectors achieve sustainable growth and improved productivity. This has improved the supply chain in the local economy and has in some cases made an important contribution to the Humber’s skills output.
Working in partnership with the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund and the British Business Bank, with Mercia and Enterprise Ventures, our Humber Growth Hub has been able to make effective links in to the various funding streams available for local companies.
Equity funding is one option for business in the Humber and this is not a new support mechanism, but something that has aided local businesses for around 20-years.
Some of the business leaders on our Board know this very well. David Kilburn used equity funding to help grow MKM Building Supplies into a very successful national business. David now helps other Humber businesses to grow through his work in chairing our Investment Panel.
Every business is different, but the reassurance that equity funding is a stable and controlled type of support for businesses and one that has worked for one of Hull’s most successful companies, should encourage those who are looking for support.
Yet despite this, take up of equity funding in the Humber has been lower than in some areas. It’s not for everyone, but for many businesses it can work and we want to raise awareness of the benefits and what is available.
For businesses that are willing to take the step and access equity funding, our strong relationship with the likes of the British Business Bank, Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund and Mercia working with their Fund Managers, will allow local businesses to take control of their own growth.
More recent examples of businesses in our region to have accessed equity funding and support are as diverse as ever. The support has allowed businesses from the digital sector and the health food sector see considerable growth of their products and services.
Ash TV and Wheybox are two excellent examples of businesses who have received this particular type of support within our region. Both of these were showcased at ‘Funding Business Growth’ an event hosted by our Humber Growth Hub – and both were quick to reveal how the support and funding has aided the growth of their business.
Another excellent example from our region comes from Electric String, whose high-end audio visual systems were funded by NPIF Enterprise Ventures Debt Fund, to support their expansion.
With this added investment the company was able to expand its team and appoint an engineer, as well as a business development manager. With this added workforce the company has since supplied clients with bespoke systems for their homes, corporate spaces and luxury; with clients including royals and Lord Sebastian Coe.
Phil Glover, our Humber Growth Hub Manager at the LEP said:
“There is currently a wide range of funding options available to local companies. We often find that businesses are increasingly using a cocktail of funds from a range of sources including local grant aid, traditional bank lending, Northern Powerhouse investment and their own retained earnings.
“Obtaining funding does however require companies to demonstrate they are an investable proposition and we will be announcing our Investor Readiness programme shortly to assist them with this process.”
Thanks to the support provided to companies by our Humber Growth Hub and the partners who we work closely with at the likes of Mercia and the British Business Bank, this ‘cocktail’ of support is allowing businesses throughout our region to increase productivity, profitability and ultimately growth.
For more information regarding business support, or funding options and eligibility please visit our Humber Growth Hub site at http://hub.humberlep.org/