Bids invited for £100m small business fund

The government has launched the bidding competition for fund managers hoping to share £100m worth of investment into innovation and entrepreneurship.

The money will be provided through a second round of Enterprise Capital Funds (ECFs) which aim to give financial support to new and existing businesses by boosting innovation, jobs and growth.

The first round of ‘Pathfinder’ ECFs was launched in March 2006 and produced six funds worth over £150m in total. At the same time, the Chancellor announced that a further £100m would be made available for this second round.

The money will be awarded to fund managers who can demonstrate how their proposal will target small and medium sized businesses in the equity gap. Bidders are required to submit details of their investment strategy, key personnel, private backers, management fee and the level of investment sought.

The first deadline for the bids is 28th February 2007. Judging the applicants the Government will be advised by the Capital for Enterprise Board, an advisory group of industry experts, chaired by David Quysner of Abingworth Management.

Small business minister Margaret Hodge launched the funding round at the Enterprising Britain Debate on Monday.

“Too many of our most innovative businesses with genuine potential fail because they can’t bridge the equity gap. Enterprise Capital Funds are a key Government intervention to help provide the investment that is vital to these businesses and provide a real boost to economic growth in the UK,” Hodge commented.

© Crimson Business Ltd. 2006


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