Business Matters: The Social Impact of NPIF Investing | Blogs

Sean Hutchinson, Senior Investment Manager at the British Business Bank, explains how funding from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) is helping regional businesses make meaningful change in their communities and beyond.

The North is a tightly knit patchwork of growth, dynamism and innovation, and at its center is a thriving community characterized by its strength of spirit. This powerful combination is integral to the North’s success as a hotbed of ambitious businesses.

Here at the British Business Bank, it is a pleasure to be involved in this business community through the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF), which plays a vital role in enabling businesses to achieve their goals. Along with access to finance, the NPIF Network brings together lenders, business owners and support networks, helping business communities in the Northern Powerhouse regions to thrive.

There are great individual examples of ambitious NPIF-supported businesses that are making a measurable difference in the regional economy as well as in their local communities.

Leeds-based Little Journey is behind a game-changing app for children undergoing surgery by taking them on a virtual journey through the hospital, explaining who they will meet and what they can expect. expect. It includes games, relaxation guides and information guides for parents.

After securing a £150,000 investment from NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance in February, the company has reached new heights. He was able to further develop his app and reduce anxiety in children. It has since enjoyed monumental success, with the app being used in over 50 hospitals worldwide and winning a contract to support one of the largest clinical research organizations in the world. She achieved remarkable results, showing a 30% reduction in anxiety in high-risk patients such as those with ADHD or autism, while a direct result of the application was a reduction in cancellations. same-day trades by 42%.

Little Journey is a great example of an ambitious company that was given the springboard it needed to make an impact. The app has had great success in bringing smoother operational services, providing its services both locally and exporting them overseas.

The Sheffield Developer Academy-based coding training center is another example of how NPIF funding has enabled a company to make a real impact. The center was created to fill a national coding skills gap and help launch careers for northern students. It has received an investment of £75,000 from NPIF – BEF & FFE Microfinance, enabling the company to expand its team and offer a greater variety of courses.

The impact of their work is felt both in creating new jobs within the company itself and in providing a steady output of trained coders who can fill the skills gap and take on roles in companies looking to recruit staff.

Inland Sea is another NPIF-supported venture that is making an impact. Sustainability is the foundation of Inland Sea, a clothing brand that uses a unique plant fiber containing seaweed and cotton, to create sustainable t-shirts and accessories. The company aims to have a tangible impact on the sustainable clothing industry and plans to expand this method of fabric production to other brands in the UK.

Inland Sea has directed its £27,000 NPIF – GC & Rivers Microfinance loan towards creating 2,000 more environmentally friendly shirts. They also hired two additional team members and moved from an e-commerce site to physical stores.

Companies like Inland Sea and their innovative approaches to building a sustainable, greener world are great for helping the nation reach its net zero goal. His companies like these are making a positive contribution to society and tackling problems with new, innovative methods.

By investing in companies in a wide variety of sectors with varying objectives, NPIF has created a network of innovative companies that are making a real impact. From building a low-carbon economy, to improving the skills of local communities and creating new jobs, or even providing new facilities and better health services for vulnerable young people, there are countless stories of wallet empowerment.

There will always be up-and-coming, ambitious companies that will contribute to the development of the North, and we look forward to helping ambitious and motivated companies to grow and achieve their goals.

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is financially supported by the European Union through funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Program 2014-2020 and the European Bank of investment.

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