East Anglia: East of England Co-op to launch regional investment fund

SMALL businesses with high ambition and strong ethics are being invited to bid for growth funding from a new regional investment fund being established by the East of England Co-operative Society.

The value of the fund is not being disclosed but is described by the society as “substantial”, with investments potentially ranging from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Doug Field, the society’s executive officer for finance and technology, said: “We know how tough it is for growing businesses to get the finance and support they need to flourish.

“We want to find the great businesses of the future where we believe we can make a positive impact and help them to grow.

“The society has a broad range of business interests; with the launch of this regional investment fund we are not only looking for ‘more of the same’ but also new areas of interest.”

The new fund is to be launched at a series of events around the region during June, starting the the Suffolk Show at Trinity Park, Ipswich, on June 7 and 8.

Launch events will also be held in Essex, at the Colchester Food & Drink Festival on June 23 and 24, and in Norfolk, at the Royal Norfolk Show on June 27 and 28.

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The criteria for a successful application for funding will be linked to the society’s ethical code and its support for businesses based in the region with potential for growth.

Sectors of particular interest include existing and potential suppliers to the society and organisations involved in renewable energy, e-commerce, technology and the environment.

The East of England Co-op’s business activities include food stores and post offices, travel, pharmacy, optical and funeral branches, petrol forecourts, online electrical, events and conference facilities, property, and Easier Living Centres.

Businesses interested in attending one of the fund launch events should contact Laura Tipp on 01473 786072.