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The North West Fund for Venture Capital, which is managed by Enterprise Ventures and which provides finance to help businesses start up and grow, has created its 100th job.

The role – as IT implementation manager at the Liverpool-based company Thirsty Horses Ltd – has gone to Chris Kelly, who comes from the Wirral.

Thirsty Horses received a £500,000 investment from The Fund in February to enable it to expand. The company has developed a system called Inspire, which combines HR and organisational development techniques within a software platform and which helps organisations to improve their performance.

Chris, who started his career in the RAF and went on to study for an IT degree, said: “I’m really pleased to have landed a position that makes use of my IT skills.” Chris is the sixth employee at the company though CEO and founder Ray Pendleton aims to create over 20 more jobs in the next three years.

The North West Fund for Venture Capital, which was launched in 2010, has so far invested £11.4m in 30 companies and attracted £1.6m in additional funding. It is part of the £155m North West Fund, which provides funding for SMEs in the region and is financed jointly by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Investment Bank.

Councillor Phil Davies, Leader of Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council and a member of the local management committee which oversees the delivery of the North West ERDF programme, said: ““I am delighted that The North West Fund for Venture Capital has secured its 100th job at Thirsty Horses Ltd, based in Liverpool. I hope this success will lead to other companies accessing The Fund and creating even more employment opportunities in the City Region.”

Richard Young of Enterprise Ventures which manages The Fund, said: “The North West Fund for Venture Capital is playing a crucial role in providing investment for businesses at a time when finance is very hard to come by. We are delighted to see the companies we have supported creating much-needed employment in the North West region.”

To date The North West Fund as a whole has invested £55million into over 180 businesses, which is expected to create or safeguard approximately 1,800 jobs.