LONDON Trade and Industry Secretary Alan Johnson has announced the first two Enterprise Capital Funds created under a multi-million pound Government scheme to boost innovation, jobs and growth for small and medium-sized businesses in the U.K.
Johnson also said the extra £100million made available for Enterprise Capital Funds, as announced by the Chancellor in the Budget, highlighted the success of the pathfinder round and meant it could now be expanded.
Enterprise Capital Funds combine Government and private sector money to help bridge the equity gap faced by small and medium sized businesses (SMEs).
The first Enterprise Capital Funds will be The IQ Capital Fund and the 21st Century Sustainable Technology Growth Fund.
The IQ Capital Fund a £25million fund which will operate across the Cambridge, Oxford and Bristol areas, but can invest anywhere in the U.K. It will focus on technology based SMEs and will make investments of up to £1.5million. The Fund will be managed by the Cambridge based NW Brown group.
The 21st Century Sustainable Technology Growth Fund is a £30million fund which will operate across the U.K. and focus on high growth companies employing 'leading edge' sustainable technology. E-Synergy Limited, which has close links with the U.K.'s research community and expertise in selecting and backing strong technology in early-stage companies will manage the fund.
Up to three further funds could be announced as part of the initial stage of the pathfinder round of Enterprise Capital funds which is still ongoing.
Each ECF will be able to make equity investments of up to £2million into eligible SMEs that have genuine growth potential but whose funding needs are currently not met. Investments will be on commercial terms.