First Isle of Man Enterprise Development Scheme deals complete
April 27, 2017
The Isle of Man Enterprise Development Scheme’s first investments are complete. Funding of over £1.2 million is already committed to help bring new businesses to the Island and expand existing on-Island firms.
The deals have been concluded across a number of sectors, including healthcare, eCommerce and technology. Funding recipients have already created their first new jobs and commenced relocation, and negotiations with many more businesses from other sectors are at an advanced stage.
SPARK Impact was appointed in March 2016 by the Isle of Man Government Department of Economic Development to run the Accelerator and Relocator elements of the £50 million Enterprise Development Scheme (EDS).
Offering flexible funding packages, including loan and equity investments, the EDS is open to businesses at all stages, from start-up to expansion and development. One year on the SPARK team has received a high level of interest in the scheme from Isle of Man businesses and firms seeking to relocate.
The SPARK team responsible for overseeing the EDS is led by Investment Director Mark Borzomato, Senior Investment Manager Michael Bakewell and Investment Manager Christine Walters.
Mark said: ‘During an exciting and busy year since we were appointed to manage the EDS we have concluded a series of deals and have already seen expansion and relocation happening to support a number of high growth businesses, so there is huge potential.
‘The scheme has attracted widespread interest, both on and off-Island, and alongside the funding already committed we are in detailed negotiations with business across many sectors either looking to relocate to the Isle of Man or existing Manx business wanting to expand.
‘These deals will see significant inward and co-investment, the creation of new employment, including many highly skilled jobs, and benefits for other companies in the Isle of Man.
He added: ‘We have been greatly encouraged not only by the level of interest in the EDS, but also by the amount of support and engagement within the Isle of Man. We have been warmly welcomed to the Island and generously provided with expert local knowledge by people across both the public and private sectors.
‘Our work has been supported by the commitment of many local professionals, including Isle of Man-based lawyers, accountants, banks and corporate service providers, underlining the recognition of the scheme’s potential and the drive to help ensure it succeeds and demonstrating the thriving ecosystem that makes the Isle of Man an attractive place to do business. This is further emphasised with the additional support provided from the Department of Economic Development to aid businesses looking to relocate to the Island, including an attractive grant support system. Thanks to that ongoing support, we continue talks with more businesses across a range of sectors and look forward to further positive announcements soon.’
Minister for the Department of Economic Development Laurence Skelly added: ‘I am delighted to see the first deals completed through the EDS. The EDS is a flagship initiative for the Isle of Man, showing our commitment to local businesses and our real drive to secure further investment and jobs for the Island.
‘The diversity of the applications and the completed investments demonstrate the appeal of the scheme and the strong potential of our different industries here on the Island. SPARK Impact has done a brilliant job handling the influx of enquiries and I look forward to seeing the results of the work and the Island’s investment in the next few months.’
The EDS was approved by Tynwald, the Isle of Man’s parliament, in October 2015 and officially launched in April 2016 to provide grants, loans and equity investment to eligible business including Isle of Man-based start-ups, existing Island business wishing to expand and firms considering relocating to the Island.
Photo – (from left) Stephen Stuart, Chairman of the Enterprise Development (Isle of Man) Investment Committee, SPARK Impact Investment Director Mark Borzomato and SPARK Impact Senior Investment Manager Michael Bakewell.