New support for high growth firms

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Leading entrepreneurs behind some of South Yorkshire’s most innovative companies are joining forces with technology investment specialist Connect Yorkshire in a new initiative to help local firms with the potential for high growth.

The Connect Gazelles initiative, launched in Sheffield, aims to help high growth companies to flourish by providing help, advice, mentoring, strategic reviews and problem solving.

“Running a business can be a lonely place and a wrong turn can delay growth by years,” says Connect Yorkshire’s chief executive Nick Butler.

“The Gazelles is particularly exciting; a unique range of services and invaluable expertise from leading business people. For us, it’s a new phase in our on-going commitment to work with growing companies to help them deliver their expansion plans.

“We will be drawing on our considerable experience of assisting companies – we have helped companies raise over £45 million in funding over the last decade, acting as mentors and a bridge between business and investors.”

Connect Gazelles will provide SME’s with the potential for rapid growth access to advice from leading entrepreneurs from Yorkshire and other parts of the UK.

“It’s an inside track for companies to build on their success and prosper,” says Mr Butler.

The founders of four of South Yorkshire’s leading businesses - Chris Rea, from AESSEAL, Hugh Facey from Gripple and Loadhog, Julie Kenny from Pyronix and David Grey from OSL, have agreed to give their time and expertise, free of charge, to help firms that join Connect Gazelles.

Main funding for the initiative is being provided by leading local professional and business advice firms, including top independent accountants Barber Harrison & Platt.

Nick Butler says the model for Connect Gazelles comes from San Diego, in the USA, where the city, which had relied on business generated by a declining naval base transformed itself by harnessing the knowledge and experience of entrepreneurs to create a hot bed of fast growing companies.

Connect Yorkshire will be working in association with Sheffield consultant Jill White, founder of networking and support organisation E3, which will become part of Connect Gazelles.

Plans are already being made to launch Connect Gazelles initiatives in Leeds and other parts of the UK.

More information can be found at www,

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