Capital for Enterprise (CfEL) is a fund management company which designs, delivers and manages venture capital and debt guarantee schemes on behalf of the public and private sectors. CfEL brings together deep knowledge, experience and expertise in investment management along with a detailed understanding of SME finance markets (debt, equity and hybrids), public policy objectives and the interaction between the two.
CfEL is the largest single investor in UK venture capital, giving it a detailed overview of the UK venture market. Taken together, the debt and equity programmes mean that CfEL has over £1.8bn of assets, liabilities or commitments under its direct oversight.
When all of the private sector money is taken into account, these schemes under CfEL's oversight have created financing schemes which total more than £6.5bn invested in, or available to, SMEs.
CfEL is managed by an independent Board of Directors, drawn from across industry and finance, and has around 32 full-time expert staff as well as retaining specialist professionals as required.
While its remit is across the whole of UK Government, it is sponsored by, and wholly owned by, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (‘BIS’).
- To be the principal centre of expertise within Government on the provision of SME financial interventions. Through its market knowledge and understanding of the public sector, CfEL will inform and improve the quality of Government policy initiatives by providing ongoing advice and market intelligence, in particular on “gaps” in the SME finance market;
- To design, develop and deliver SME financial interventions meeting the objectives of the commissioning organisation and to deliver the schemes to agreed time, cost specification and standard.
- To manage SME financial interventions efficiently, effectively and economically. CfEL will use its professional expertise to manage the schemes, delivering economic benefits in line with the Government’s growth agenda.
Integration with the business bank
From 1 October 2013, Capital for Enterprise’s operations and staff are being brought into BIS to be part of the Business Bank programme within a broader interim organisation structure. This team will continue to manage and administer a range of existing government-backed schemes as well as working on new schemes to further increase the flow of finance and range of finance providers for smaller businesses.
On 21st March 2013, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) announced that the new business bank "will bring together Capital for Enterprise Ltd (CfEL - the existing delivery agency for BIS), key policy teams in BIS and new expertise from the private sector".