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Sage cash boost for enterprise initiative

Date 17 Sep 2006
Author The Editor

Tyneside-based software firm Sage (UK) Limited has invested £250,000 to help drive forward one of the region’s most innovative enterprise initiatives. The North East Enterprise Bond aims to shake-up enterprise awareness at grassroots level, using a number of interactive mobile vehicles to take the idea of business start-up to the streets. The first in a series of Launch Pad vehicles was unveiled last week. It will embark upon a series of trial runs over the summer, ready for a region-wide tour in September. The vehicles will be equipped with a number of resources that encourage people to consider business start-up as a viable career option, helping to raise the region out of its current position as bottom of the national league for new business creation.Sage’s investment is a major boost to the Bond’s target of £5 million, which will help fund the purchase and running of a number of ‘Launch Pads’. The scheme encourages companies and individuals across the North East to invest in the charitable bond for five years. This will effectively act as an interest-free loan to communities across the region. At the end of the project, their investment will be returned to them. The interest generated will be paid up front and used to purchase, set up and run the Enterprise Bond initiative.Andrew Clayson, Sage (UK) Limited's Regional Innovation Champion, said: "As a North East company, we are passionate about helping out in the local community; through a variety of initiatives from charity donations and community volunteering schemes through to the sponsorship of an international music centre, the Sage Gateshead, as well as investment in schemes like this. The North East Enterprise Bond is an ideal way to give something back to the community, helping people to realise that the North East is a great place to start a business."The launch of North East Enterprise Bond follows the Newcastle Employment Bond, which matures this summer. All of its existing investors will have the option to have their investment returned in full or to re-invest in the new Bond, as Sage has done. To find out more about the North East Enterprise Bond contact Nikki Wilkinson or Estelle Vasey on 0191 275 5000 or email: nikki.wilkinson.

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