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Business angels help South West companies spread their wings

Tony Fraser from Cornish Sea Salt talks to Business Link's Colin Sawer and Phillip Tellwright from SWAIN about finding a business angelBusiness Link Devon and Cornwall and the South West Angel and Investor Network (SWAIN) are looking for 'business angels' in the region who can help high growth companies achieve their full potential through investment. On Friday 10th February seven South West companies, looking for over £1.1 million worth of investment, met up with their own angels during an event held at the Eden Project.

The event was a joint meeting between Business Link Devon and Cornwall and (SWAIN) which aimed to provide companies, working in a range of sectors throughout the region, with the opportunity to meet with like-minded investors.

In a format similar to the BBC's 'Dragon's Den' TV programme, the companies based throughout Devon, Cornwall and Somerset each gave a 10 minute presentation to the angels. But unlike the TV show, no decisions have to be made by either party on the spot. And as Business Link's finance advice for business manager, Colin Sawer explained, it's not only more angels they are looking for. "We'd also like to see more South West companies who are looking for investment come forward in the future. Businesses from any sector are eligible, whether you are already established or just starting up but there are some criteria you need to fulfil. You need to have a comprehensive business plan and prove your company has the potential for high growth. You must also be prepared to give up some equity in the business."

Colin continued: "The angels programme has so far proved very effective for a number of businesses in the region, to accelerate their rate of growth and maximise their potential. Of course the angels are experienced business people in their own right who bring expertise as well as investment to the company. There are also wider implications for the local economy as additional investment can help companies think on a bigger scale, bringing more commerce to the South West through the development of new innovative products or increased international trade."

Phillip Tellwright, SWAIN network director said: "We have been delighted to co-host our first joint event with Business Link Devon and Cornwall. The response we have seen today is indicative of the Business Angel activity in Devon and Cornwall and reflects the hard work that Colin Sawer and Bruce Colley have put into the local area. The combination of the well established local presence of Business Link Devon and Cornwall and SWAIN's rapidly developing regional network have been key to the success of this event, which will be the first of many."

Anyone interested in participating in Business Link's Business Angels Network should contact Colin Sawer at Business Link on 0845 600 9966.

For further information please contact Maxine McAdams of the Marketing-PR Company on 01566 771860 or email:

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in Business Link through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF).


Editor's notes:

Business Link provides a free information and enquiry service via an information gateway on the web and via the telephone on 0845 600 9966 to all businesses and those considering starting a business. Additionally It provides impartial business advice and support through a network of partner organisations, which it co-ordinates, and a register of independent business practitioners. Business Link for Devon and Cornwall delivers the national Business Link service to the region under contract from the South West RDA.

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) exists to make England better skilled and more competitive. It is responsible for planning and funding high-quality vocational education and training for everyone. It has a single goal: to improve the skills of England's young people and adults to world-class standards. Their vision is that by 2010, young people and adults in England have the knowledge and skills matching the best in the world and are part of a truly competitive workforce. Established in 2001 the LSC works nationally, regionally and locally from a network of offices across the country.


Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

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