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Initial £5m made available

Macklin launches funds to back aspiring businesses

Derek Weir Marie MacklinScottish entrepreneur Marie Macklin has launched three investment funds to back aspiring businessmen and women.

Macklin Enterprise Partnerships (MEP) will enable the Ayrshire-born businesswoman to build two portfolios of investments in new enterprises.

She will make an initial £5 million available for investment via these funds.  An additional fund, with separate access to third party support for the restructuring of businesses, has also been set up.

MEP will manage funds provided by Ms Macklin and private investors. It will take direct stakes in selected businesses or invest through special-purpose funds.

Derek Weir, the first appointment to the MEP board, has 25 years experience in corporate banking at RBS and Barclays. Since 2009, he has held a number of non-executive and consultancy roles and has invested personally in four early stage businesses.

Together they will identify potential partners and provide start-up and management advice those selected. Wherever practical, MEP will seek a leadership role in supporting and developing businesses to ensure close involvement and informed scrutiny of performance.

As well as investing directly, the intention is to invest indirectly through partnerships with entrepreneurial organisations, representative trade and professional bodies, private and public investors and business angel organisations across the United Kingdom.

Ms Macklin said: “My aim is to inspire and support creative people with the ideas, drive and resilience to create and grow successful businesses.

“Funding will be open to ambitious, highly-motivated people launching or developing new-start businesses. Whilst robust business plans will be the starting point, the inspiration, passion and commitment of the people behind the plans will be fundamental in funding decisions.  We will invest in people we can work with personally, advising and supporting them in bringing their plans to fruition.”

Initially, MEP has established three funds:

  • An Investment Fund for Entrepreneurs offers equity funding for new start businesses and is open to ambitious, highly-motivated people launching or developing robust new business ventures or under-resourced fledgling businesses. With investment will come membership of an exclusive boutique investors’ club, opening up a range of business advice and support.
  • The Zaniel Fund seeks to invest in Entrepreneurial Spark ‘Chicklets’ or Nest Companies across the UK.
  • A Restructure Investment Fund is available for company restructuring, under which an experienced business team will provide a company doctor service with advice on all aspects of business restructure. MEP has separate access to a variety of high-quality resources for tailoring re-structuring to re-focus and re-energise businesses.

MEP is offering consultancy services to support entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial businesses and organisations, including management, mentoring and motivation.

Ms Macklin,  has a long-established commitment to the development, excellence and philanthropy of enterprising people. She actively encourages entrepreneurs by advising, investing, sponsoring and supporting schools, colleges, arts and community organisations to engage young people in business.

Among her current personal investments are: Mallzee a personal shopping app, highlighted by Yahoo as one of the six apps to change shopping forever; and Diligent World, a new-start company offering specialised risk intelligence to business, commerce, government, public organisations and wealthy individuals.

She has a background in construction, financial services and banking. She developed The Klin Group as a successful property and land development and re-generation business.

She is a mentor for Entrepreneurial Spark Enterprise and assists female entrepreneurs to build business networks through her initiative, Women in Enterprise.  This is in partnership with the Association of Scottish Business Women, whose Award for Outstanding Contribution to Business she received in 2013. She was awarded a CBE in the 2014 New Year’s Honours List for Services to Economic Regeneration and Entrepreneurship in Scotland.

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