How FW Capital has given a lending hand to Tees firms

By Sarah Walker

From surviving coronavirus and getting through lockdown to launching a new product, or from expanding office space to buying new equipment and taking on new staff, for a decade FW Capital has supported businesses across Teesside and beyond to do all this and more.

In 2020, the company is marking its 10-year anniversary by celebrating the fact it has boosted the economy in the north by nearly half a billion pounds.

Over a decade, it has invested more than £170m in over 650 businesses, leveraging private sector investment of over £300m and creating or safeguarding 7,500 jobs.

It has helped businesses such as Cenergist access funding from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF).

The energy and water services firm received an initial investment through FW Capital in 2015, but most recently received £750,000 from NPIF. Funding has enabled them to launch new revenue streams, deliver new contracts and open a Billingham call centre.

Mitesh Dhanak, Cenergist managing director, warmly congratulated FW Capital on its 10-year anniversary.

He said: “From the first investment FW Capital made into Cenergist in 2015 to the most recent funding, our long-term partnership has helped us to realise our growth ambitions, generate significant turnover and increase our workforce from five to 45 people worldwide.”

Most recently, FW Capital has played a key role in the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), investing £20m of loans in 65 companies.

It has helped businesses such as IOTA Enterprises in Teesside navigate their way through the pandemic.

The Middlesbrough-based audiovisual equipment supplier received a £250,000 NPIF loan backed by CBILS to help it mitigate the impact of the pandemic, after it had diversified its product range and was appointed as a preferred supplier of mounting solutions to a well-known subsidiary of Dublin-based multinational DCC Group.

The funding meant IOTA was able to fulfil the £750,000 contract, as well as complete the development and launch of its planned new products, including a unique new 17-channel pre-amp, plus complementary products such as CD and network streamers.

The investment also created four new jobs and safeguarded another.

Ian Vermeulen, IOTA Enterprises managing director, said: “This investment allowed us to fulfil an important contract and to expand our product range.

“We are very grateful to the team at FW Capital for their support at this challenging time and look forward to further liaising with them as we move towards recovery.”

Joanne Whitfield, FW Capital’s fund director (pictured above), said: “Covid-19 presented significant challenges on an unprecedented scale for many businesses, so we did everything in our power to get the funding out as quickly as possible.

“Through CBILS, we have invested nearly £1m on average per week, which is testament to the team’s dedication to ensuring SMEs can access the funding they need to support their recovery from the pandemic.”

FW Capital was founded with a very small team, but now has more than 30 investment professionals in six offices across the north.

Reflecting on FW Capital’s decade in business, Joanne said: “For over 10 years, FW Capital has supported businesses, resulting in nearly half a billion pounds of investment in the north of England and helping to create thousands of local jobs.

“It is great to reach this milestone anniversary and I am so proud of the positive contribution we have made to building a strong economy for those who live and work in our region.

“We want to see our customers hit their initial growth target and then the one after that, which is why ongoing relationships matter to us.”

She added: “Our determination to be a long-term investment partner is why we see so many SMEs come back time and time again.”

Here’s to the next 10 years.

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