‘Angel’ finance scheme is launched

A NEW “business angel” initiative, encouraging high net worth individuals to invest in small firms with growth potential, has been launched in Suffolk.

The Suffolk Investor Club is a subsidiary of the FSE Group and is being backed by Suffolk County Council.

Sally Goodsell, chief executive of FSE Group, said: “Since the credit crunch small businesses are still finding it hard to access funding and business angels are a key source of provision.

“Research shows that 80% of new jobs will be produced from companies under five years old so support for these ventures is essential to create jobs and boost the economy.”

The club will hold regular meetings across the county to discuss investment opportunities and meet entrepreneurs. The aim is for members to invest as individuals as well as a syndicate to create a critical mass of funds and more opportunities to complete equity deals.

“Angels” involved in the network will also receive support and advice from investment professionals at Finance East.

Colin Law, portfolio holder for skills and economic development at Suffolk County Council, said: “Bringing investors together with Suffolk businesses will create great opportunities. Investment from business angels is vital to real economic growth.”

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Harry Berry, a venture capitalist and chairman of the Eastern Enterprise Hub, added: “A support network is vital for Suffolk and a part of the Enterprise Hub strategy to support business start-ups in the region. It will identify and bring together a group of investors who can back our new businesses and help to create new entrepreneurs.”

The club is keen to gain investment for all sectors but there will be a specific focus on the key areas of energy, food, drink and agriculture, ICT, biotechnology, high value manufacturing, creative industries and tourism.

For more information email sally.goodsell@financesoutheast.com or visit www.financeeast.com.