River Capital secures extra £10m for SMEs

Liverpool fund manager River Capital secures extra £10m to invest in SMEs in Liverpool city region and across the North West. Tony McDonough reports

The Plaza
The Plaza in St Paul’s Square where River Capital is based. Picture by Tony McDonough


Small and medium business funder River Capital has secured £10m from Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF) to support SMEs across the region.

Liverpool-based River Capital, a division of MSIF, launched North West Business Growth Loans (NWBGL) in October 2022 with £8m from MSIF. This extra £10m from GMPF is being delivered via private credit investor TDC.

NWBGL provides an alternative form of loan finance to SMEs in the North West, complementary to more traditional sources such as banks. This new funding will boost the maximum loan offering to £500k.

River Capital says it will also enable the provision of financial assistance to more than 80 SMEs across the North West helping to create an estimated 700 jobs.

River Capital chief executive, Mark Borzomato, said: “Since its inception, we have seen high demand for the NWBGL offering.

“We are therefore delighted to be able to secure additional funds to further support the region’s SME community and broaden the suite of funding options provided by River Capital.

“We and our investors are committed to fuelling the ambitions of the SMEs as well as driving economic growth.

Loans are available to trading SMEs operating in most sectors. They can be used to support working capital, capital expenditure, acquisitions, management buyouts and other growth-related activities.

Particular focus will be on applicants who demonstrate evidence of strong social impact and positive ESG (environmental, social and governance) outcomes as a result of the finance.

Since the launch of North West Business Growth Loans more than £2.2m has been provided to 10 businesses which are anticipated to create over 100 jobs as a result.

Recent ventures supported include Shopify plus agency Velstar and its acquisition of WeInfluence, and Designerwear, an e-commerce mens’ fashion brand experiencing rapid expansion.


River Capital
TDC head of operations Mark Metcalf, left, with River Capital CEO Mark Borzomato


Mark added: “Businesses, and particularly SMEs, continue to face difficult trading conditions which have understandably made business lending more complex than ever.

“The resilience of entrepreneurs and SMEs continues to impress, but access to the vital funding they require remains a challenge.

“Alternative funds such as NWBGL remain critical to addressing this gap in the market.We look forward to working in close collaboration with GMPF, TDC and MSIF to make a significant positive impact in the region.”

On Monday LBN revealed MSIF saw losses hit £2.47m in the 12 months to March 31, 2023. However, Mark Borzomato insisted its investment portfolio remained “robust”.

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