It's almost sixty years since John F Kennedy, in his inaugural Presidential address, told Americans to “think not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”.
Whilst over on this side of the Atlantic the Northern Powerhouse might not achieve such global recognition, as it approaches its third birthday, its message to date has adopted a similar sentiment.
The Northern Powerhouse’s mission is to help the North of England achieve its economic potential, but it cannot deliver this singlehandedly. There is simply too much for one single body to achieve.
As such, the activities that achieve this must be led by businesses in the North of England; as a region, we must set the agenda and provide a clear, realistic articulation of where the Northern Powerhouse can most effectively support our economic growth.
What's in store for the Northern Powerhouse?
As Henri Murison prepares to take up post as the Northern Powerhouse Partnership’s first Director, his inbox will doubtless be filling up before he has the chance to get his feet under the desk.
Let’s pause for a moment to reflect on what Henri will inherit.
Published earlier in 2017, Eversheds’ contribution to the Northern Powerhouse debate covers familiar, but nevertheless important, terrain: clarity of purpose, connectivity, coordinated devolution, and Brexit. The report touches on investment as a driver of economic growth, but focuses on large capital projects financed by the UK Government. It says little about scale-ups’ access to capital.
The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is a direct and welcome attempt to address this issue, but its remit should expand to include an ambition to unlock investment from within the north.
This is our ambition. We want to make business investing easier for – and consequently more popular with –people across the North of England. ONS data shows that 12.5% of households in the North of England held equity investments in 2015/16, compared to 18.6% of households in London and the South East.
People in the North have a lot to gain by becoming more comfortable investing in businesses. Technology helps to facilitate this by enabling people to develop a portfolio with a series of modest investments. In addition to becoming aware of specific investment opportunities, the tax relief available through the initiatives such as EIS and SEIS offers great incentives to people on all income levels.
Educating and empowering investors in the North
As an equity co-investment platform, GrowthFunders is committed to delivering compelling investment propositions.
Alongside hosting these opportunities, we are continually developing our suite of guides to investing, designed to educate and empower members on investment - investors' capital contributes to the growth of local businesses, creating jobs and opportunities for the future.
The whole process is a continuous, positive circle that can only become more successful for everyone involved.