A NEW £2 million private sector fund is being rolled out to support business growth and employment across north-east Scotland’s key industry sectors.

The One Enterprise Fund has been created by Opportunity North East (One) in partnership with the Andrew Salvesen Family Trust to support ambitious businesses at key points in their growth.

It provides interest free loans, which can be from £10k to £50k in value and are repayable within five years, for defined growth-related activity within businesses. Loan recipients also benefit from engagement in One’s activity in the region. The Fund is evergreen with the amounts repaid being available for distribution in the future.

The One Enterprise Fund panel is chaired by Patrick Machray, vice-chair of One, and includes representatives from the Andrew Salvesen Family Trust, One and other senior businesspeople. It has already approved £294k of loans to seven businesses in its pilot phase. The businesses are active in digital, energy, and food, drink and agriculture. The Fund is now rolling out with the next application round closing at the end of January 2020.

Sir Ian Wood KT GBE, chair of ONE, said: “The ONE Enterprise Fund is a transformational private sector project to stimulate business growth. It is ONE’s first co-investment with another philanthropic funder, the Andrew Salvesen Family Trust. We both want to help businesses in North East Scotland’s key sectors to achieve their growth plans and create employment.”

Andrew Salvesen OBE DL said: “The Andrew Salvesen Family Trust and One share a commitment to support exciting companies in the region that can demonstrate growth potential to the Fund Panel. We have been very encouraged by the range and quality of the businesses that have applied and been successful in the pilot phase.”

The One Enterprise Fund will distribute up to £2m over five years with around £400k of loans made in any one year. Businesses will be active in a key industry sector in north-east Scotland and should be located, or have significant activity, in the region. They will have a clearly defined growth plan and associated funding requirement, aligned with the ONE Enterprise Fund purpose.