b'Mercia asset Management PLc39Annual Report and Accounts 2021RegionalVenture FundsWill clarkManaging director,Mercia regional Venture Fundsthere is no doubt that our investmentWe are continuing to see interestingStrategic reportinto regional businesses, regardless ofinnovation in E-commerce and Cyber, as sector or industry, slowed at the startwell as new technologies in the low-carbon of the financial year.economy and, of course, Life Sciences will continue to be pivotal in the global quest Although there is an easing of thefor diagnostics, personalised medicinesGovernance Financial statementsrestrictions around the pandemic,and healthcare procedures. challenges remain and we anticipate some further volatility as many of the stimulusOur ever-capable investment team packages cease and the debt which somecomprises individuals who are passionately businesses have accumulated impedefocused on their local markets. This, growth. However, the regions have alwaystogether with the long-term resilience of been resilient and the agility of SMEs meanour business model, alongside high-quality that both issues and opportunities can beservice provision, continues to attract what responded to quickly, especially when theyis now becoming known as a Mercia deal. have the support of the type of capitalThriving, ambitious local businesses with a solutions and experience that Mercia offers.driven management team that want to There are certainly sectors where goodintegrate sustainable investment as part of value exists as a result of the pandemic andtheir own business model, are reflected in others that feature the structural growthMercias regional venture portfolio and fit dynamics, including sustainability, thatperfectly with our direct investment make them great investment opportunities.strategy.'