Publishing firm with global reach secures second funding package

Left to right: Ian Brown, Finance Yorkshire Portfolio Manager, and John Peters, Chief Executive of GSE Research and Greenleaf Publishing.

A specialist digital publisher is set to break into a new global market following a second Equity Linked investment from Finance Yorkshire.

Leeds-based GSE Research, and its publishing arm Greenleaf Publishing, gathers and disseminates research and best practice in the fields of Governance, Sustainability, CSR and Environmental Management. Its online portals drive interaction and engagement among academics, policy-makers and the corporate world.

It has secured a £400,000 funding package from Finance Yorkshire, which will allow it to expand into the Corporate and Government markets.

The business was established by Chief Executive John Peters, the former CEO of Emerald Group Publishing. Its inception in 2011 was part-funded by an initial £500,000 Equity Linked Investment from Finance Yorkshire. The latest tranche of funding will see the firm grow its sales and marketing team.

GSE Research operates via its Sustainable Organisation Library (SOL) and Greenleaf Online Library (GOL) collections, alongside printed books and eBooks. It supports environmentally sound, socially just, ethical and sustainable growth.

Among the 30 or so books it is publishing during 2014 is the memoir of former Shell CEO Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, which explains how Shell dealt with the Brent Spar and Ken Saro-Wiwa controversies.

In addition to its UK and Ireland customer base, GSE has clients in Japan, Australia, Africa and Denmark, and works closely with universities and business schools including Durham, Cambridge, Yale and Cranfield.

Commenting on the investment, Chief Executive John Peters said: “Our mission is to collect and manage information and disseminate it worldwide. We like to call it our ‘brainprint’. Every major organisation in the world has a sustainability statement, and it is essential they show they are engaging with the latest thinking in the field.

“Building relationships with other organisations, such as the Geneva Association, the UN Global Compact and the International Labour Organisation, is a vital part of our mission, as is establishing strong links with academic institutions, as they are educating the business leaders of tomorrow.”

Finance Yorkshire Portfolio Manager Ian Brown said: “Publishing is one of the oldest industries there is, and as such can be slow to adapt and change. GSE Research and Greenleaf Publishing turns that idea on its head, and is very much at the forefront of the industry. Its Sustainable Organisation Library (SOL) for example, can be networked across a multi-national organisation.

“The business has more than proved itself in the three years since our original investment, and we are very confident that it will continue to blaze a trail in the publishing sector.”

To date, Finance Yorkshire has made 634 investments totalling £79 million.

Finance Yorkshire provides seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15,000 to £2m to help a range of small and medium sized businesses to meet their funding requirements for growth and development.

The project is supported financially by the European Union. It has attracted £30million investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme, £15million from UK Government and £45million match funding from the European Investment Bank.

For more information about Finance Yorkshire, please visit or call 0845 649 0000.

Note: this news article is from Finance Yorkshire’s previous fund. Read more about Finance Yorkshire