Demystifying External Funding Workshop

A FREE webinar to help your business understand the opportunities available with external funding.

We will hear from Sam Watson, Commercial Director of Burleighs Gin, craft gin producers based in Leicestershire. The business has a range of London dry gins as well as official partnerships with 2021 FA Cup winners Leicester City FC, Leicester Tigers RFC, and the Marilyn Monroe Estate.

External investment via the Midlands Engine and through crowdfunding has enabled the team at Burleighs to employ new staff, develop new product lines and expand its markets domestically and internationally despite the challenges of the last year.

Join us to hear first-hand from Sam the reasons behind their investment journey, what it has meant for the business and what the future holds.

Burleighs Gin secured the finance from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF), provided by The FSE Group and backed by the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

We will also be joined by;

Lewis Stringer, Senior Manager at the British Business Bank

Chirag Mistry, Investment Manager, FSE Group

Laura Mallaburn, Business Support and Angel Network Manager at the Productivity Programme, University of Lincoln

Russell Copley, Managing Director at Greenborough and the Business Finance and Investment Readiness Advisor at Business Lincolnshire


10am – Welcome – Alex Bavin, Select Lincolnshire

10.05 am – Sam Watson, Commercial Director, Burleighs Gin

10. 30 am – Lewis Stringer, Senior Manager at the British Business Bank – Overview of the current macroeconomic market and introduction to the Midlands Engine Investment Fund

10.40 am – Chirag Mistry, Investment Manager, FSE Group – An introduction to the FSE Group and how the group works with businesses who are looking at finance as an option for growth, together with helpful tips in preparing for that journey.

10. 55 am – Laura Mallaburn, Business Support & Angel Network Manager – Introduction to the Business Angel Network and support available for Lincolnshire businesses

11.05 am – Russell Copley, Managing Director, Greenborough – The funding support and initiatives available across Lincolnshire and how to get started

11.15 am – Q&A

11.30 am Close

Sam Watson, Commercial Director, Burleighs Gin

Sam Watson is commercial director at Burleighs Gin and has been working in the craft gin industry for nearly a decade. Beginning his career at Burleighs Gin in a marketing and branding role, he previously worked in the marketing department of a Leicestershire-based FE College.

Whilst Sam still plays a pivotal role in developing the marketing strategy for the company, he is now responsible for the day-to-day running of Burleighs Gin and focuses on all functions of the business, from sales to production and events.

As commercial director, Sam develops strategic partnerships for the brand and maintains these strong working relationships. Currently these include Leicester City Football Club, Leicester Tigers, Authentic Brands Group (ABG), and the Royal British Legion.

Sam is also instrumental in securing funding for Burleighs Gin, and has previously achieved this through crowdfunding and the Midlands Engine Investment Fund. He lead Burleighs’ recent investment raise and developed a strong proposal that was appealing to potential investors.

Lewis Stringer, Senior Manager, UK Network Team, British Business Bank

Lewis joined the British Business Bank in October 2016 as the MEIF Senior Relationship Manager, covering the East and South-East Midlands. The Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) is a £250m ‘fund-of-funds’ launched in February 2018 and providing equity, debt, small business loans and early stage, proof-of-concept funding for SMEs across the Midlands.

More recently he worked on the Bank’s high-profile Covid-19 response initiatives. Lewis has 25 years’ experience in economic development including two years at Capital for Enterprise Limited (the Bank’s predecessor), where he worked in the Debt Team on the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) scheme and former RDA legacy funds, ten years at East Midlands Development Agency (EMDA) in the Business Investment Team and five years at Nottingham City Council, where he managed a team and a series of grant, loan and equity funds, and investment readiness programmes.

Lewis also has over five years commercial and personal banking experience with Lloyds Banking Group.

Chirag Mistry, Investment Manager, The FSE Group

Chirag Joined the FSE Group in June 2020.

He has spent the last 13 years with Santander in various business and commercial banking roles supporting SMEs. Most recently as a Relationship Director acquiring and managing a portfolio of businesses with lending requirements.

Russell Copley, Managing Director, Greenborough

Russell has been helping Lincolnshire businesses access the “right funding at the right time” for the last 8 years, heading up the Lincolnshire Investment Network (now part of the Business Lincolnshire Growth Hub). He has many years’ experience prior to this, both here in Lincolnshire and across the East Midlands.

On behalf of Lincolnshire, Russell chairs the Regional Advisory Board of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, and so is well connected into a range of business finance sources.

Laura Mallaburn, Business Support and Angel Network Manager at the Productivity Programme

Laura joined the Productivity Programme for Greater Lincolnshire at the beginning of 2020 to set up one of its business support strands, now known as Lincolnshire Business Angels.

Lincolnshire Business Angels is a platform that connects entrepreneurs with investors allowing them to pitch for equity funding to accelerate their business growth plans.

Laura uses her personal experience of launching, growing and selling a business to help others on this journey.

As Lincolnshire Business Angels is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Lincoln Science and Innovation Park, she can offer fully subsidised support and network access to local businesses subject to basic criteria.

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