British Business Bank

  • “Along with existing resources, this significant increase will unlock up to £13bn of finance to help UK smaller businesses"

Sponsor foreword by Keith Morgan, CEO, British Business Bank

The UK economy has a strong track record in generating start-ups, the latest available international comparisons showing the UK is the forerunner in the G7 in terms of business birth rates. On scaleups, crucial for growing the economy, our recent Small Business Finance Markets report has some encouraging news also – international comparisons of the share of high-growth enterprises shows that the UK has proportionately more scaleups than either Germany or France, and that this position is growing.

Despite this, there is plenty more for the UK to do as we seek to become the best place in the world, not just to start up, but also to grow a business. The benefits that scaled-up businesses bring to the UK economy are clear – more jobs, more investment, higher tax receipts and increased productivity.

The 2017 Patient Capital Review, led by HM Treasury, found that one of the biggest barriers faced by young, innovative businesses with growth ambitions is a lack of access to longer-term investment, be it through the availability of growth capital or simply a lack of awareness of the options available to them.

As the UK’s national economic development bank, the British Business Bank’s mission is to make finance markets work more effectively for smaller businesses, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity. We do this by increasing the supply and diversity of finance available to smaller businesses and by providing information to smaller businesses to increase their understanding and awareness of their options.

While we are already the UK’s largest British-based venture capital investor, with more than £1bn of capacity across our programmes, and are increasing the resources allocated to supporting equity for scaleup companies, the 2017 Autumn Budget represented a step change in
our capabilities.

The Government’s commitment of £2.5bn of additional resources to the Bank, increasing our funding by two-thirds, will make it easier to finance innovation and ensure that the best knowledge-intensive, high-growth businesses can get access to the venture capital needed to scaleup.

Along with existing resources, this significant increase will unlock up to £13bn of finance to help UK smaller businesses to realise their full potential. This will attract private sector capital into the market – the central goal of the Patient Capital Review – and ensure that British smaller businesses looking to scaleup can do so here in the UK.