Entrepreneurship is always something that I look for in a strong management team. We are incredibly lucky in the North that we have such a pool of high quality entrepreneurs – many of whom set up their businesses quite literally from their garages or bedrooms, and through a combination of sheer grit, determination and talent managed to generate market leadership positions in a relatively short space of time. Over the years, to have been associated with the owners and management teams of businesses such as GHD, Card Factory, Aesica and Mersey Television (to name but a few) has been truly inspirational and in some respects, life changing.
I suspect that some of this entrepreneurship has inevitably rubbed off on the NorthEdge team. We are very proud of the fact that we have started from similarly humble beginnings with no fee income, and certainly no funds to invest back in 2009, to a position now where we have significant funds to invest (£225m for Fund I) across a geography we know extremely well stretching up to the Scottish borders and down to the Midlands, covering all the main northern cities and towns. This was one heck of a journey approaching over 250 different institutional investors on four continents, cap in hand. Since then, we have quickly built a team of like minded and ambitious people who share the same values about wanting to help drive the growth of some of the more exceptional businesses in this incredibly important region. And we want to do this in a way that reflects the long term aspirations we have for NorthEdge.
So we are now backing a new generation of entrepreneurs. The same grit, determination and talent is self evident – and perhaps even more so in this new, post-recessionary environment. We will continue to be challenging, inquisitive, strategic and above all, supportive – that’s what we’re here for. And we will do this from an understanding of what entrepreneurship means and I hope we will be more additive to shareholder value creation for having this invaluable perspective.