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15/09/2014

‘Big Tick’ for the Wales JEREMIE Fund as Finance Wales launches its responsible business strategy

Finance Wales has been awarded a Big Tick for supporting the growth of small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in Wales through its largest fund, the Wales JEREMIE Fund.  The impact of the company’s investments was recently recognised by Business in the Community at the prestigious Wales Responsible Business Awards 2014.

Since its launch, the Wales JEREMIE Fund has invested £134 million in over 500 SMEs, helping to create and safeguard more than 9,400 jobs.  Investments from the fund also have a range of other economic impacts, such as leveraging additional private sector investment totalling £150 million, encouraging innovation, collaborative R&D and the development of new products, processes and services as well as creating opportunities for local suppliers.

Achieving the ‘Big Tick’ in the Wales Enterprise Growth Award category (supported by Menter Iontach Nua), Finance Wales was recognised for engaging, supporting and doing business with SMEs to drive local economic growth.

Rosie Sweet man, Director of Business in the Community in Wales congratulated Finance Wales on its achievement:  “Responsible businesses across Wales are making a positive difference to the economic, environmental and social challenges we face as a nation.

“Through the Wales Responsible Business Awards, we shine a much-deserved spotlight on organisations like Finance Wales which recognise both the business and social case for acting responsibly. Therefore I’m delighted that the judges have recognised Finance Wales’ contribution to supporting the growth of Welsh SMEs through the Wales JEREMIE Fund with a ‘Big Tick’.

BITC member, the HLN Group has received 3 loans from Finance Wales since 2007, including 2 from the Wales JEREMIE Fund.  With Finance Wales’ backing, HLN, which is headquartered in Cardiff, has diversified into a leading UK multi-disciplinary practice offering customers architectural and engineering services.

HLN’s Chief Executive, Mike O’Brien said: “I’m pleased that the Wales JEREMIE Fund and Finance Wales have been recognised with a ‘Big Tick’.  HLN is a long-established Welsh business and the loans we’ve received have enabled us to expand and employ more staff.  Despite recent economic conditions, our turnover is up 80%, our order book is full and we’re looking to recruit more staff in a range of roles.”

Commenting on the achievement, Sian Price, Strategy Team Manager at Finance Wales said: “Achieving a ‘Big Tick’ is a significant endorsement of the impact the Wales JEREMIE Fund is having on the sustainability of the Welsh economy, both locally and nationally.  Investments from the fund have been a valuable source of funding for Welsh SMEs in tough economic times, helping them to create and safeguard jobs.  They’ve also encouraged them to exploit their potential for innovation and have created opportunities for local suppliers, for instance.”

A  BITC member for a number of years, Finance Wales is also a responsible investor and on the back of its recent success, it has launched its first Responsible Business Strategy.

“Finance Wales is committed to being a responsible business as well as a responsible investor and developing our first Responsible Business Strategy is an important step for us.  Our membership of Business in the Community signals our commitment to drive forward the responsible business agenda in a collaborative way.

“We’re integrating responsible business practices in both our internal and external operations by focusing on our customers, suppliers, employees, communities, stakeholders and environment.  Our vision is to provide SMEs with the finance and the backing they need to achieve sustainable growth and create jobs,” Price continued

“I’d like to further congratulate the Finance Wales team on the launch of their Responsible Business Strategy as a means to build on their values and really integrate responsible business throughout their operation,” Sweetman added.

Finance Wales’ responsible business activities are based on the following core values:

  • Offering a range of flexible, tailored funding solutions.
  • A willingness to take a broader, longer-term view.
  • Our commitment to our customers, stakeholders and staff.
  • Providing honest and trusted expertise.
  • Providing a high quality service.

Find out more about Finance Wales’ ‘Big Tick’ story at: www.bitc.org.uk/wales/responsible-business-awards.

To read Finance Wales’ Responsible Business Strategy, visit:

http://www.financewales.co.uk/about-us/responsible-business-practice.aspx

Finance Wales was presented with its Big Tick trophy at this year’s Wales Responsible Business Awards Gala Dinner.