Tag: Business News

£31m added to regional economy thanks to social enterprise

A Yorkshire-based social enterprise has announced it has boosted the region’s economy by £31m in the last 12 months as well increased lending to female entrepreneurs by 9%.

 

The Business Enterprise Fund (BEF), has made the announcement as part of its annual social impact report which also reveals the not-for-profit organisation has loaned a total of £7.08m in the last year, helped to create 175 new UK businesses and generated or safeguarded 820 jobs.

 

Specialising in responsible and flexible finance to businesses making an impact in their communities, 36% of BEF’s loans in the last 12 months were to female-led businesses across West and North Yorkshire and the North East.

 

Steve Waud, chief executive at BEF which is celebrating its 15th anniversary later this year, said: “At BEF we remain dedicated in our role to supporting under-represented yet tenacious SMEs across the North, who don’t necessarily have the same level of investment available to their counterparts in the South.

 

“We are proud that 36% of our loans in the year have been to female entrepreneurs which is higher than the industry average and we’re continuing to promote the support available to help tackle the evident funding gap, which has also recently been highlighted in the Alison Rose Review. The economic impact our lending continues to generate is something we are hugely proud of at BEF.”

 

BEF has made 331 client deals in the last 12 months with the highest number of loans being made to businesses in the manufacturing (25%), business services (18%) and retail (17%) sectors.

 

Shainy Moscovitch and her husband co-founded CP12 Energy, a gas and heating specialist partnering gas safe engineers with domestic and commercial jobs. A £50,000 loan from BEF contributed to creating three new jobs, marketing activity and fitting free carbon dioxide detectors across the North East region.

 

She said: “Most would think the odds are against me. I am a female entrepreneur and I am currently writing this with my one-month old baby beside me. BEF looked past all that and saw the company that I am passionately building. It is their belief in me and CP12 Energy that has given us wings to grow and expand.”

 

Steve said: “As part of our commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs), we continuously aim to empower people from all backgrounds in starting their own businesses with our tailored support and flexible finance solutions.

 

“This year 40% of our lending has been within lower-layer super output areas which is a 6% increase from last year. These individual businesses are in areas which can be excluded from mainstream funding but are often having the highest impact within their communities.”

 

BEF has hired five new employees this year in a bid to provide further support and finance to business owners across the North of England, including the North West. Further to its lending, the social enterprise has supported a range of good causes including its continued work with Bradford charity, One In A Million for which it raised more than £7k in the last year.

 

The Business Enterprise Fund has offices in Leeds, Bradford, Goole and Teesside. For more information please visit www.befund.org

Innovate UK releases 2019-2020 Delivery Plan

Innovate UK has today published its Delivery Plan for 2019-2020, alongside the other Councils within UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

The Innovate UK plan is framed by 5 strategic goals:

  • deliver measurable economic and societal impact across the UK
  • support and invest in innovative businesses and entrepreneurs with the potential and ambition to grow
  • maximise the commercial impact of world-class knowledge developed in UK industries and its research base
  • identify, support and grow transforming and emerging industries through innovation
  • build a coherent, supportive environment incentivising R&D investment and enabling people and businesses to innovate

Call to innovate

As the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK has succeeded in investing over £2.2 billion more than 11,000 projects over the last 12 years. These have created as much as £16 billion in gross value added to the UK economy and 70,000 jobs.

Innovate UK is supporting the government’s Industrial Strategy commitment to increase R&D spending to 2.4% of gross domestic product (GDP) through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund in further partnerships between businesses, researchers and government.

Dr Ian Campbell, Interim Executive Chair of Innovate UK, said:

To achieve the Government’s Industrial Strategy commitment to increase R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP by 2027, our new strategy takes more of an investment-driven approach to innovation.

It focuses much more closely on creating the conditions for private investment in R&D, on creating an enabling environment by championing and assisting industry to innovate, on nurturing the sectors and technologies that will transform the UK, and on encouraging innovation in all businesses with the potential to grow and scale, right across the country.

Throughout 2019 and 2020, Innovate UK will adopt new investment-focused approaches to financially support universities, the public sector and especially businesses, which account for two-thirds of all UK research and development (R&D).

Following the successful rollout of Innovation Loans and the Investment Accelerator, the Delivery Plan includes further work on new innovation finance options to boost the impact of government funding.

9 Delivery Plans across UKRI

Building on the Strategic Prospectus, published in May 2018, the UKRI 2019-2020 Delivery Plans detail how the Government’s target of 2.4% of GDP spend on research and innovation by 2027 will be guided by 6 themes:

  • business environment, with a focus on delivering projects with social, cultural and economic impact
  • places, supporting growth across the UK
  • ideas, developing disruptive and ground-breaking projects
  • people, investing in the skills and environment for innovation to thrive
  • infrastructure, ensuring access and investment in world-leading research
  • international, meeting global challenges and forming international partnerships

Professor Sir Mark Walport, UKRI Chief Executive, said:

The delivery plans announced today are the blueprints for UKRI’s ambition to deliver the future of research and innovation. They outline how we will address the major global and societal challenges of our time, catalyse collaboration and contribute to meeting the government’s ambitious 2.4% target.

Sir Mark will be discussing the delivery plans at a UKRI evening event at the University of Leeds today, as well as profile UKRI’s first year of operation.

Content from www.gov.uk/government/news 13.06.19