In Blog, Opinions

Your FLOCK started in Manchester.

Your FLOCK the team engagement platform – is proud to not only to have been started in Manchester. But also now to have been asked to be part of the research into the northern funding and investment sector.

After our team engagement platform successfully gained investment last year. Not only from Innovate UK but private investors too. As well as GC Angels. So, it was great to be part of the new Praetura Ventures report and extensive work in this area.

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This new research from Manchester-based Praetura Ventures shows that shockingly the UK economy is losing out on a potential £92bn to GDP due to a shortfall in funding in the North.

At a time when the UK economy needs all the help it can get.

And a time when employee engagement is at it’s lowest levels.

The new report – What’s Powering the Powerhouse? – finds that there is a lack of capital through equity funding, accelerators and support that amounts to:

·       £4.97bn in the North West.

·       £3.8bn in Yorkshire & Humber.

·       And £1bn in the North East.

This is a total amount of almost £10bn.

Based on current output figures per business in 2022 in the North, the additional funding in each area would combine to create an additional £92bn in GDP.

As David Foreman, managing director at Praetura Ventures, said:

“Despite the shortfall of funding, the North was the most attractive area of the UK to expand into for businesses outside the region. With recent million-pound tech valuations coming into question and a moment of review draws in, voices from the region are calling for a rebalance of the funding distribution to help fuel further success. The research findings present a series of challenges that will require a great deal of collaboration, however with the potential opportunity on offer, one that’s worth the effort.”


 This is something we believe at Your FLOCK – on our mission to help a million people be happier at work. And we add to this the need for more diversity in funding. And more support for businesses, like our own, that have more diverse boards and teams than the national average.

 And as co-founder of Your FLOCK our team engagement platform – Dan Sodergren – who championed diversity and inclusion in the sector with the Manchester Publicity Association last year and the MPA #TheBigIDEA campaign says (on page 38 of the report.)

“Manchester is wonderfully diverse as a city, and we should be pushing that. Not just because it’s a nice thing to do, but because diversity makes for better companies and better investments. And those companies make more money, which is better for our economy and our society. That’s why everyone should get behind diversity and inclusion.”

Perhaps it is this area of positive social impact, places with a great company culture, with diversity and inclusion at the heart of things, in which people and investors can see amazing opportunities to live, work and develop in.

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Which is why it’s great to see Jess Jackson join Praetura Ventures from our investors GC Angels.

As Jess sat on our board at Your FLOCK – which at the time was more than 50% women and 20% people of colour – and helped us with our initial launch.

And went on to launch Fund Her North.

Since the launch of the Fund Her North website in 2021 the organisation has on boarded over 400 members, secured funding of more than £4.5 million for early-stage founders, launched a Women’s Angel syndicate which now has 37 members and has supported nine female founded businesses, hosted 21 education events to date with an attendance of over 1000, and gained support from partners NatWest, UBS, Gordons LLP and BHP Chartered Accountants.

This might be the secret super power of the North. Supporting businesses from under-represented parts of our society.

We can do this…

With the purpose and spirit and community of the place. Rather than just it’s history and heritage and need for better infrastructure. The future of work and success for the regions needs more investment into different communities more than it needs roads and railways. We also need to have a unique selling point for each region – as well as the region as a whole…

As Dan says on page 58 of the report:

 “If you want Manchester to get more international investment, you have to create a special narrative around our city. Every area of the UK, especially outside of London, needs to have its own personality. And I believe we need to align that personality to a sector. Of course, you can do LegalTech or HealthTech in Manchester just as well as you can Leeds or Sheffield.

But why fight over tech sectors? Investors don’t want that. And it’s not necessary.

Each area needs an ecosystem and then to get noticed for it. To be recognised for it and for its specialism. It’s basic marketing. The need for a USP or a niche. And this is the same for cities and investments as well as big investors.”

Might Manchester become a place known for creating positive companies that have a purpose beyond just profit? With happy people working in them. With life work balance and maybe higher employee engagement and productivity because of it. Only time will tell.

We at Your FLOCK truly hope so. So we can help a million people become happier at work. On that note, the “What’s Powering The Powerhouse” research launches today! September 22nd. And it offers a deep dive into the North’s scale up scene with expert advice from those who’ve been there before.

If you want to learn more download the full report from Praetura Ventures below

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