Launch of Investment Fund for Scotland provides £150m boost for small businesses

05/10/2023
Representatives from the British Business Bank along with the three fund managers, celebrate the £150m launch

THE BRITISH Business Bank is launching its new £150 million Investment Fund for Scotland today (5th October), unlocking additional funding to help smaller businesses to prosper and thrive.

The fund will drive sustainable economic growth by supporting new and growing businesses across the whole of Scotland through investment strategies that best meet the needs of these firms. It includes a range of finance options with loans from £25,000 to £2 million and equity investments up to £5 million to help small and medium-sized businesses start up, scale up or stay ahead.

The Bank’s Investment Fund for Scotland will be the first solely UK government-backed investment fund for smaller businesses in Scotland, helping to increase the supply and diversity of early-stage finance by providing options to firms that might otherwise not receive investment. Funding is designed to help businesses with activities including expansion, product or service innovation, new processes, skills development, and capital equipment. 

Three fund managers have been appointed to manage the fund. DSL Business Finance will manage the smaller loans part of the fund (£25,000 to £100,000), The FSE Group will be responsible for larger loans (£100,000 to £2 million) and Maven Capital Partners will manage equity deals (up to £5 million).

Louis Taylor, Chief Executive of the British Business Bank, said: “With this fund for Scottish businesses, we hope to open the doors to new opportunities for a range of smaller firms looking to get started, grow, and develop across different sectors. We know that access to finance is a key concern for small businesses and are committed to ensuring that founders from all over the country have the same prospects in terms of finance, no matter where they are based.

“Scotland is a nation of entrepreneurs and innovators and recent success stories from spin-outs and early-stage businesses show that there is huge economic potential. We want to create local opportunities and generate an impact that spans beyond the fund, helping to boost productivity, innovation and employment.”

The Investment Fund for Scotland is the second in a series of six new Nations and Regions Investment Funds being launched by the British Business Bank and follows the launch of the South West Investment Fund in July. A total of £1.6 billion has been committed to the new funds to drive sustainable economic growth and break down barriers in access to finance.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said: “It’s great news that the British Business Bank is launching its new £150 million Investment Fund for Scotland. This funding boost will be hugely important in giving smaller Scottish businesses the investment they need to grow. Scotland has some fantastic business success stories, and this new, additional fund will help create even more of them.”

Among the Scottish businesses to already benefit from the British Business Bank’s support is Aberdeen-based drug discovery company Elasmogen. It received funding from British Business Investments, a commercial subsidiary of the British Business Bank, through an EIS funding round undertaken by Deepbridge Capital.

Professor Caroline Barelle, CEO of Elasmogen, said: “As a therapeutic drug discovery company, investment is crucial for us to convert our technology into medicines for patients. At Elasmogen, we are developing antibody-like molecules (soloMERs) for autoimmune disease and cancer.

“The investment from the Bank enabled us to progress our targeted soloMER-chemotherapy program into patient-derived studies of triple negative breast cancer, demonstrating rapid tumour reduction and regression. We have since progressed and expanded this program into a pipeline of first-in-class chemotherapy conjugated drugs, not only validating our soloMER technology but bringing us closer towards the clinic.”

Following today’s launch, the British Business Bank will be holding a series of information roadshows aimed at people working in the small business finance ecosystem including enterprise agencies, advisers, accountants and more. The first of these will be held in Inverness on 31 October with the second in Edinburgh on 1 November. More towns and cities will be covered in the new year and an online version of the session will also take place on 7 November. 

To find out more and apply for funding, visit: www.investmentfundscotland.co.uk  

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