The Government's Enterprise Capital Funds programme provides more than £300m of venture capital investment to address the equity gap for early stage innovative SMEs with the highest growth potential. Eleven funds have been launched since 2006 and more than £150m invested in companies.
Enterprise Capital Fund (ECF)
The Enterprise Capital Fund is supported with £26 million from the government-owned British Business Bank. The fund will offer a total investment capacity of £40 million designed to specifically help rapid growth businesses scale up. Active Private Equity, which specialises in helping consumer-focused businesses grow their brands and build the infrastructure needed to scale up successfully, will run the fund.
Active invests where there is potential for rapid growth, and the new Active ECF will focus on early-stage founder-led businesses. The British Business Bank will provide £24m of the fund's £40m investment capacity.
"The government-owned British Business Bank is helping more than 48,000 businesses with over £3.1bn of support, much of it going to those with high-growth potential." Small Business Minster, Margot James.
There is over £690m investment capacity in ECF funds
Enterprise Capital Funds are funds that combine private and public money to make equity investments in high growth businesses. The programme invests into funds on terms that improve the outcome for private investors when those funds are successful. This is done to encourage venture capital funds to operate in a part of the market where smaller businesses are not able to access the growth capital they need.
"This important new fund will enable more UK smaller businesses to get the investment and support they need to scale up successfully. Our Enterprise Capital Funds are a significant part of the UK's early stage venture capital ecosystem, and the establishment of the new Active ECF brings the programme's total investment capability to over £730m." Keith Morgan, British Business Bank CEO.