£150 million investment fund launched to boost Scottish small businesses

The British Business Bank launches £150 million fund for Scottish entrepreneurs today, aimed at boosting the regions’ small businesses.

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The British Business Bank is unveiling its groundbreaking £150 million investment fund for Scottish entrepreneurs today, offering a significant financial boost to empower and elevate small businesses.

The fund provides loans ranging from £25,000 to £2 million and equity investments of up to £5 million, facilitating the growth of these small and medium-sized enterprises, whether they are just starting or scaling up.

The Investment Fund for Scotland stands as the first-ever UK government-backed investment initiative exclusively dedicated to Scotland’s small businesses, thus broadening the spectrum of early-stage financial opportunities and empowering businesses that may otherwise struggle to secure investment.

The funding aims to support various business activities, including expansion, innovation in products or services, the adoption of new processes, skill development, and acquiring business equipment.

To oversee the fund, three accomplished fund managers have been appointed: 

  • DSL Business Finance will manage loans ranging from £25,000 to £100,000
  • The FSE Group will handle larger loans between £100,000 and £2 million, and 
  • Maven Capital Partners will be responsible for equity deals up to £5 million.

Louis Taylor, Chief Executive of the British Business Bank, expressed his enthusiasm, stating: “With this fund for Scottish businesses, we hope to open 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.”

He adds: “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 represents the second instalment in a series of six new Nations and Regions Investment Funds launched by the British Business Bank. This initiative follows the introduction of the South West Investment Fund in July, with a total commitment of £1.6 billion to dismantle barriers to accessing finance.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack praised the announcement, stating: 

“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.”

One of the Scottish enterprises already benefiting from the British Business Bank’s support is Elasmogen, a drug discovery company based in Aberdeen. Elasmogen received funding from British Business Investments, a commercial subsidiary of the British Business Bank, during an EIS funding round facilitated by Deepbridge Capital.

Professor Caroline Barelle, CEO of Elasmogen, shared her perspective on the investment: “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.”

In the wake of this announcement, the British Business Bank will conduct a series of information roadshows aimed at individuals involved in the small business finance ecosystem, including enterprise agencies, advisers, and accountants. 

The first event is scheduled in Inverness on 31 October, followed by a session in Edinburgh on 1 November

Additional locations will be covered in the new year, with an online session scheduled for 7 November.

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

Written by:
Stephanie Lennox is the resident funding & finance expert at Startups: A successful startup founder in her own right, 2x bestselling author and business strategist, she covers everything from business grants and loans to venture capital and angel investing. With over 14 years of hands-on experience in the startup industry, Stephanie is passionate about how business owners can not only survive but thrive in the face of turbulent financial times and economic crises. With a background in media, publishing, finance and sales psychology, and an education at Oxford University, Stephanie has been featured on all things 'entrepreneur' in such prominent media outlets as The Bookseller, The Guardian, TimeOut, The Southbank Centre and ITV News, as well as several other national publications.

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