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BGF invests GBP500 million in Britain’s entrepreneurial businesses

BGF (Business Growth Fund) has passed GBP500 million in committed investments to entrepreneurial businesses across the length and breadth of the UK. 

Of the GBP500 million, GBP250 million was committed in the last year alone – a clear signal of the growing demand for this type of support among Britain’s entrepreneurial businesses.

Set up to fill a funding gap for Britain’s growing smaller and medium sized businesses, since 2011 BGF has invested in a diverse portfolio of nearly 100 companies including manufacturers, retailers, technology providers, restaurants and more. The milestone coincides with BGF’s strongest ever quarter; BGF invested GBP71 million in the first three months of 2015. The underlying demand and momentum is growing with BGF now accounting for one in three of every investment made at this end of the market.

Unlike private equity firms, BGF does not seek to control companies but is a strategic partner working alongside management as a minority investor. With deep pockets BGF is able to provide these businesses with the long-term patient capital they need to drive their ambition and unlock future potential – eg roll-out new sites, buy new machinery, expand into new markets, fund acquisitions and recruit new people.

At the heart of BGF’s approach is a strong regional network operating from eight offices across the UK ensuring national coverage with investment professionals close to the local business communities and the companies they support.

Stephen Welton, Chief Executive of BGF, says: “BGF is proud to work with some of Britain’s most exciting and ambitious entrepreneurs. When BGF launched in 2011, smaller and mid-sized companies were largely overlooked by equity investors, access to long-term capital was scarce, and the perception was that demand was non-existent. That was completely wrong and we have seen dramatic change over the last three years. The GBP500m that BGF has rapidly invested would not have been provided without us. That has driven not only investment, but created thousands more jobs in our portfolio companies and unlocked tens of millions of additional debt capacity.

“BGF is operating at the very heart of the UK economy and helping to support our very own “Mittelstand”. I have no doubt that many of the great British companies of the future are already in our portfolio and we have only just begun. A new age of equity investment will drive future prosperity. BGF together with entrepreneurs across the whole of the UK is at the forefront of turning that potential into reality. The future is bright as long as entrepreneurs have the ambition to take risk and scale up their businesses; the capital is available; and the economy overall is growing driven by greater investment.”

Alongside investment BGF also provides portfolio businesses with practical and strategic support directly through the investment team and BGF’s Talent Network, comprising nearly 3,000 senior business leaders. To date, nearly 70 people from BGF’s Talent Network have been appointed by portfolio companies.

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