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8 August, 2011 - 08:35 By News Desk

Companies cash in on free mentoring

David Gill, Managing Director of St John’s Innovation Centre

Eighty companies in the East of England have raised a total of £10m with help from the Free ‘Understanding Finance for Business’ (UF4B) programme, but time is running out for others to benefit.

 Companies in need of finance are being encouraged to sign up fast to receive full value from the free support on offer. The final workshop is scheduled for December, 2011.

Delivered by St John’s Innovation Centre and funded by EEDA, ‘Understanding Finance for Business’ sees a dynamic team of successful entrepreneurs, experienced investors, banking and sector specialists helping companies identify and secure the funding they need to start or grow.  

The programme started in August 2009 and has attracted over 1,000 entrepreneurs to date. Approximately 40 per cent have gone on to attend the specialist workshops (focusing on grant, equity or bank finance) that follow the introductory session and around 150 businesses have been offered one-to-one mentoring.

The last introductory workshop is scheduled for December 2011 but the sooner people sign up, the better chance they have of benefitting from the mentoring and practice pitches as these options may not be available beyond September.  

David Gill, Managing Director of St John’s Innovation Centre and a former corporate financier and investor at ET Capital, said: “Raising finance can be extremely challenging, particularly in the current market. Helping businesses in our region to raise over £10 million is true testament to the success of this programme and the track record of our team.  I would urge companies in need of finance to sign up quickly if they wish to get maximum value from the free support we are offering.”

There are introductory workshops in every county up to December 2011 when the programme closes, but to gain maximum benefit from the programme, entrepreneurs/companies should sign up for the workshops on 13 September (Norwich), 15 September 2011 (Stansted) or 21 September (Newmarket).  Registrations are now open at www.stjohns.co.uk/finance, but places are limited.

To find out more and register, visit www.stjohns.co.uk/finance or call Miranda Edwards on 01223 420252.

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