"Providing better information to smaller businesses is the essential first step in encouraging them to seek the best finance"
Sponsor foreword by Keith Morgan, CEO, British Business Bank
The British Business Bank, established in 2014, improves finance markets so they more effectively serve the needs of smaller UK businesses.
We are delighted to return as a sponsor of the 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain report for a second year. Strong research, evidence and analysis provide the basis for our own interventions to improve finance markets for smaller businesses, and also benefit the industry more widely by increasing knowledge about those markets. The results of this in-depth analysis by London Stock Exchange Group are both timely and informative – and it’s encouraging to see that 59 businesses in this year’s list have been supported via British Business Bank programmes.
It’s also positive to see evidence of strong revenue growth across the regions. Our Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, which recently celebrated its second anniversary, has now supported over £184m of investment across the North, with more than 440 investments completed across 10 local enterprise partnership areas in the North West, Yorkshire and the Humber, and the Tees Valley. Our two other dedicated regional funds, the Midlands Engine and Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Funds, are continuing to build their portfolios, while we recently made our first investment in a fund aimed exclusively at supporting growing businesses in Northern Ireland – the WhiteRock Growth Finance Fund.
We are continuing to develop awareness of our own programmes – such as our flagship Enterprise Finance Guarantee – across the country, and particularly in the regions outside of London. Our new UK Network, a team of dedicated managers covering all areas of the country, will provide insight into local finance markets, while our £100m Regional Angels Programme, which launched in October 2018, will support much-needed early-stage equity to businesses across the UK, particularly in areas that are currently under-represented.
As well as increasing the supply of finance through its programmes, however, the Bank is also putting in place measures aimed at increasing demand. We believe that providing better information to smaller businesses is the essential first step in encouraging them to seek the best finance for their needs. Our Finance Hub, a new online resource launched last year, provides independent and impartial information on the debt and equity finance options available to high growth and high growth potential smaller businesses. This sits alongside our more widely focused Business Finance Guide, co-published with Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and with contributions from a host of other organisations, including LSEG.
I hope you find LSEG’s analysis of the 1,000 companies in this year’s report both informative and inspirational.
For growing businesses, there’s a finance option out there to match your ambition. We’ve developed our Finance Hub to help you understand what external finance options are available and how they could help your business. Click here to find out more.