Danish pension fund PFA said it is increasing its exposure to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Denmark by raising its stake in Kirk & Thoresen Invest.PFA — the country’s largest commercial pensions provider — said it decided to boost its ownership stake in the private equity firm to 30% from 16%. A PFA spokesman declined to say how much the investment would cost.Henrik Heideby, managing director of the £417bn pensions company, said: “For a long time we have wanted to support small and medium-sized businesses more and therefore the thousands of Danish jobs that are a part of Danish economic life.” Heideby already sits on the board of Kirk & Thoresen Invest, which has holdings in library supplier Biblioeksmedier, air purifier, Lesni, and supplier of native and exotic meats, Dencon, amongst others.Apart from increasing its stake in the firm, PFA said it was also making a loan facility available to Kirk & Thoresen. “We don’t have the set up internally in PFA to screen the market to see which of these smaller companies have the necessary potential,” Heideby said.“Apart from that, these types of investment often require you as the investor to give concrete leadership and economic advice to the businesses concerned,” he said.PFA did not have the set up to act as a business doctor, he said.Heideby said the pension company’s desire to support SMEs was not driven by idealism.“We are not philanthropists, we will invest in companies we believe will give a good return,” he said.Heideby said PFA would like to make more investments of this type.“With this model I believe we, as a very big institutional investor, will also have the opportunity to work on projects that are so small that we would normally not get involved in them,” he said. PFA said it also had investments in Erhvervsinvest and SE Blue Equity, which invested in SMEs in Denmark.The Danish government has made moves to encourage the country’s pension funds to lend to SMEs since bank lending has become harder for the companies to come by as a knock-on effect of the financial crisis.At the end of last year, it extracted a pledge from the pensions industry to to promote pension fund lending to SMEs as well as working to bolster their access to capital resources.This was part of larger deal to ease the pressure on the level of reserves pension funds needed by extending a previously altered discount yield curve.
The return of one of the UK’s top entrepreneurs, Michelle Mone, is just one of the many highlights of the 10th Enterprising Donegal Business Week set to get under way across the county from March 3rd-March 7th.Michelle Mone“As it is our 10th annual Business Week we have invited back some speakers who were very well received by Donegal businesses on their previous visit to Donegal and we are confident that people will find them and indeed – all of the events and speakers we have lined up for 2014 – to be challenging, informative and inspirational,” CEO of Donegal County Enterprise Board, Michael Tunney said this week. Ms Mone, co-owner of Lingerie Company Ultimo Brands International, has spoken at Enterprise Week in the past outlining how she has built a hugely successful career by helping women look and feel their best.Listed as one of the top three female entrepreneurs in the UK, she can boast ‘World’s Young Business Achiever’ and ‘Business Woman of the Year’ among a glittering array of awards. “Michelle Mone is an example of true entrepreneurial spirit having left school at 15 with no qualifications she was running a national Sales and Marketing team in Scotland by the time she was just 22. She not only started Ultimo, but has grown it into one of the UK’s leading designer lingerie brands and I have no doubt that her story and insights into business will be hugely well received once again in Donegal,” Mr. Tunney added.He stressed however that her talk was just one of many highlights of a packed Enterprise Week and he urged people to make sure they take a look at the full line-up and book early.“This year’s week-long programme once again has a terrific range of speakers, workshops and seminars all aimed at providing opportunities for learning and networking. The ultimate objective is to help established businesses and indeed new start-ups to grow and develop.”With that in mind DCEB and its partners have put together a fantastic line-up of events across the county and following last week’s official launch many of the places are already booking up very quickly.One event already attracting significant attention is the presentation from The Futures Company in An Grianan Hotel, Burt that aims to help local businesses identify new innovation and growth opportunities.“The Futures Company has glowing testimonials from companies like Coca-Cola, GlaxoSmithKline, Kraft foods and Diageo, to name but a few and to have them in Donegal to speak really is a fantastic opportunity that local businesses definitely don’t want to miss out on.”The week’s events kick off with a marketing workshop in the Mount Errigal Hotel on Monday March 3rd. Other highlights of a packed week include international speaker Kevin Kelly on the pursuit of exceptional execution in business, Claire Burge’s workshop on getting organised and a great line-up of speakers including Boxing’s Billy Walsh for the motivating your business team final event of the week on Friday 7th March.“The full line-up of events is available online and while all of the events are free, it is necessary to register and we’d urge people to visit donegalenterprise.ie to have a look at the week’s programme and to register as soon as possible,” Mr. Tunney said. He concluded: “Having teamed up with Sendmode as a partner this year, people can also receive text information and reminders about Donegal Enterprise Week if they free text DEW to 50015.”County & City Enterprise Boards are funded by the Irish Government and part-funded by the European Union under the National Development Plan 2007-2013.GLOBAL LINGERIE ENTREPRENEUR TO SPEAK AT DONEGAL BUSINESS WEEK was last modified: February 19th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Donegal Busniness WeekMichelle Mone