UK emerging SMEs to receive EU funds

LONDON | The UK’s Coalition government launched Tuesday a new joint enterprise capital fund that will invest at least £40 million in high-growth potential small and medium sized companies in the country.

The fund is called Notion Capital and is the eleventh and largest finance support programme for SMEs in the European Union. According to the official press release, a total of £62.9m has already been committed to it from the first funding round. This includes substantial commitments from private investors, governments and the European Investment Fund (EIF). The Notion Capital fund will target emerging, high-growth cloud computing and Software-as-a-Service companies in the UK.

John Holloway, Director Transaction and Relationship Management at the European Investment Fund said that the key aim of the fund is

“to support emerging fund managers in their development towards established market participants.”

Holloway pointed out that the finance available will expand in the future. Notion Capital has a pan-European focus and will invest at least £40m in the UK, which means that the total investment guaranteed for UK companies is higher than for any previous enterprise capital fund.

Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk welcomed the initiative:

“It is absolutely vital that ambitious small firms can access the finance they need to expand and grow.

“Notion Capital is the largest enterprise capital fund to date and will help a significant number of firms to grow and create jobs, boosting our economy.”

Enterprise Capital Funds were established to address a market weakness in the provision of equity finance to SMEs. Government money is used alongside private sector funds to establish overall funds that target investments in SMEs of up to £2m. Rory Earley, CEO of Capital for Enterprise Limited said that he was

“very impressed by the ability of the Notion Capital team to bring to bear their extensive entrepreneurial and operational experience to enhance the businesses in which they invest.”

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