“The North of England has historically been of great significance, but we’re still guilty of neglecting the source of much of that remarkable achievement, small businesses.”

Although increased lending by banks has helped to improve the situation this does not provide small businesses with the flexible support they need while they are growing. Michael is helping to support entrepreneurs to get their businesses off the ground through Maven-managed, government-backed regional funds such as The Finance Durham Fund which offers between £200,000 and £2m to support the growth of business across the County Durham.

As well as access to funding, Michael has also been providing local companies with proactive, strategic business support. Maven’s strong regional presence with offices in Newcastle and Durham means that Michael and his investment team is on hand to help guide business development, provide support on strategic decisions as well as help navigate complex fundraising options.

“The benefit of being a part of a regional investment team, such as Maven, is that I can be on hand to help its businesses to establish an active role in the local community as well as identify key growth opportunities.”

Five Minutes with Michael Vassallo, of Maven Capital Partners:

What was your first job and how much did you get paid?

I joined Ernst & Young straight from Oxford on a training contract to qualify as a chartered accountant and I was paid £13,000 in my first year.

What is the worst job you've had?

Cleaning out a pigeon loft for £5 pocket money.

Most expensive thing you've bought - other than car or house - and how much?

As a single ongoing problem, satisfying my idea that the right equipment will make me a better golfer. Cost, too much or not enough depending on how you look at it.

Who is the best person to follow on Twitter and why?

I’m not an expert on twitter but I would recommend @Maven_NorthEast.MV headshot

What is your greatest achievement?

Establishing the Maven offices in Durham and Newcastle and investing in a number of great businesses in the North East. The region is home to some outstanding entrepreneurs and it is a privilege to work alongside them and drive returns for our investors.

What's the best piece of advice in business you've ever been given?

There are two pieces I’ve been given. The first – under promise and over deliver, from my old boss at Brewin Dolphin. And from my father, always trust your gut.

To read the full article please visit the Northern Echo website.