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Solent LEP launches new fund to drive productivity in the region

06 December 2016

Yesterday, Monday 5th December, the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership launched their round 1 of their new fund - the Solent Growth Fund.

Over 220 delegates turned up to the Hilton Ageas Bowl on Monday 5th December to hear details of the Solent LEP's new fund for SMEs. The first round of the fund, launched yesterday, is a £2m capital fund which seeks to support the Solent business community by providing funding on a grant, loan, forward-funding or equity share basis to SMEs in the Solent seeking to grow their business quickly through new processes/products/services, and/or developing new markets.

Delegates attending heard from the Chairman and Chief Executive of the Local Enterprise Partnership on the details of the new fund as well as previous Solent LEP beneficiary Senseye on their experience with LEP funding and how it has enabled their business to now more than double its size. Denise Barlow from the Solent Growth Hub updated delegates on the free 'one stop shop' business support service provided through the Growth Hub and Ken Moon, Chairman of the FSB English Policy Unit, rounded off the presentation session with a discussion about how critical SMEs are to the Solent economy. Delegates were then given the opportunity to network with business representative organisations such as Enterprise First, Get Set for Growth, Future South, Intellectual Property Office, NatWest, the Department for International Trade, British Marine and others. 

Gary Jeffries, Chairman of the Solent LEP, said: 

Supporting new businesses, enterprise and ensuring our small businesses survive and grow is a key priority for the Solent as our businesses sit at the heart of our economy. After the success of our previous business support grant programmes, we are delighted to now be able to launch the Solent Growth Fund to further support the Solent business base and improve productivity in our region.

Ken Moon, Head of the FSB English Policy Unit, said:

Small businesses are a major contributor to the strength of the local and national economy. They drive growth, open up new markets and create jobs. The Solent area is an internationally-recognised economic hub and has some distinct and unique strengths. Our vast array of small businesses across a broad cross section of industries continue to support the economic improvement of the region. We are delighted to support the Solent Growth Fund aimed at SMEs. It provides a great opportunity for local businesses whether starting up or developing, to take advantage of local financial support, and we hope to see some wonderful projects achieve great levels of success, both for the business and for the wider community. 

Full information and guidance in relation to the fund, and the application form to apply, can be found here.

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