Enterprise Capital Fund Programme
The ECF programme is intended to address a long term structural weakness in the provision of risk capital for SMEs in the UK. Currently this gap is considered to be most severe in investments of under £2m.
ECFs are commercial funds which bring together a combination of private and public money in order to support high growth businesses. The programme operates by providing gearing on private investments in the funds, in effect offering enhanced profits to private investors when funds are successful. This gearing is designed to offer investors returns at the same level they might achieve in later stage venture capital funds.
The programme is designed to be cost neutral for the Government over the medium term and has so far proved successful in attracting high quality management teams to the equity gap. There is now a portfolio of 12 active funds with commitments totalling nearly £400m, of which £240m has been committed by HM Government. £166m has been invested through the funds in 144 fast-growing UK businesses with several strong exits and significant follow-on financings for portfolio companies already achieved.
Information for Fund Managers
Capital for Enterprise operates a rolling investment programme for commitments to new ECFs and only looks to award mandates to the best teams, who are able to raise the appropriate level or private capital and go on to make high quality investments. The process is competitive. CfEL expects to invest in 2 to 3 new funds per year.
Managers interested in running an Enterprise Capital Fund should in the first instance consult the Guidance for Prospective Managers document in order to ensure that their plans fit within the criteria of the scheme and to understand more about the CfEL investment process. A proforma of the ECF Limited Partnership Agreement should also be carefully considered.
Capital for Enterprise Ltd held an ECF Seminar for Prospective Managers on 8 March 2013. The full presentation is available to view here: ECF Seminar Presentation.
T - 0114 206 2131
E – firstname.lastname@example.org
Information for companies seeking equity investment CfEL is not able to deal with queries from companies looking for equity funding. CfEL is a passive investor in each ECF and has no day-to-day involvement in their management. Investment decisions are delegated to the manager of each of the funds. Companies are therefore advised to contact a fund manager with a relevant investment focus, rather than CfEL.
Further information on each ECF and links to the manager’s website are below.