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Boost launches new Investment Academy to help prepare Lancashire businesses for equity investment

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Boost’s Access to Finance service has launched a new Investment Academy designed to help businesses better understand how to secure equity investment.

The programme, which is fully funded by Boost, will support an initial cohort of up to 20 Lancashire business leaders through four face-to-face sessions which will take place in September and October.

Participants will cover key areas of investment readiness for those seeking equity funding including developing a value proposition, how to identify and pitch to investors, concepts around valuing their business, HMRC initiatives and other implications when seeking equity finance.

The sessions will include workshops delivered by the members of Access to Finance team as well as masterclasses with investment experts from across the Lancashire business community. This includes equity providers, legal and Intellectual Property specialists, university leaders, as well as branding experts to discuss creating a high-quality pitch deck.

Mark Gibbons, lead adviser, Boost Access to Finance, said: “Since relaunching the Access to Finance service in February as part of Boost, our expert team has been helping Lancashire businesses find and secure funding through our one-to-one support.

“Equity investment is one of the most difficult forms of funding for businesses to secure but having a deep understanding of your business finances and funding strategy significantly increases your chances of success. Our new Academy has been designed to provide businesses with this knowledge by working with the very best experts from across the county.

“By taking part, business leaders will gain a strong understanding of whether they are ready for external investment, the right option for them and how to find and secure it.”

Those who are interested in the Investment Academy are invited to an online launch event on July 10. It will include an overview of the current business finance landscape, further details about the Academy and give eligible businesses the opportunity to submit expressions of interest.

Boost is Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub. Its mission is to help Lancashire businesses thrive and since 2013, it has supported over 14,000 businesses, helping create 3,500 jobs while adding £100m to the local economy.

From September 1 2023, Boost is funded by Lancashire County Council, Department for Business & Trade (DBT), and UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) allocations from ten Lancashire local authorities. The Access to Finance service was previously delivered by national business support organisation The Growth Company but has been managed directly by Lancashire County Council as part of Boost since the start of 2024. 

The service includes a team of former bank managers and funding experts who work with business leaders to understand their finances and help them find and secure external funding.

Aidy Riggott, cabinet member of economic development and growth, Lancashire County Council said: “Growing businesses create local jobs and wealth. External investment gives businesses the fuel to grow quicker than they would organically, however, many of our county’s businesses are not simply not accessing funding.

Aidy Riggott, Lancashire County Council

“Improving Lancashire businesses’ access to investment is a key goal for Lancashire County Council and the new Investment Academy is an important part of that. I would urge all businesses interested in taking part to join the launch event to understand more about the service and how it could help them.”

Businesses can register for the Investment Academy online launch event here.

The Investment Academy is led by Boost; Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub and is available to businesses in Boost’s ten partner local authorities. Boost’s partner authorities are Blackburn with Darwen Council, Burnley Council, Chorley Council, Fylde Council, Hyndburn Borough Council, Pendle Borough Council, Preston City Council, South Ribble Borough Council, West Lancashire Borough Council and Wyre Council.

You can find out more about the Boost Access to Finance service by visiting the Access to Finance page of Boost’s website or by contacting Boost’s Business Support Helpdesk on 0800 488 0057.

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