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Dawn Capital raises new fund with help from ECF VC Catalyst Fund

Sheffield, 9th July 2013 - Early-stage investor Dawn Capital has achieved a first close on its Dawn Capital II fund – targeted at businesses in the cloud, software and consumer internet sectors.

Capital for Enterprise, making its first investment through the ECF VC Catalyst programme, has enabled the fund to get to critical mass and make a first closing.  Other investors include the European Investment Fund.

Haakon Overli, general partner at Dawn Capital, says that part of the success in achieving a first close can be attributed to the firm's existing portfolio companies which have showed, he says, that 'exceptional performance' of UK start-ups in a 'globally competitive' technology sector is possible. He adds, "We are very proud to progress from our origins as an Enterprise Capital Fund to raising a larger fund. This was made entirely possible by Capital for Enterprise in awarding us an ECF mandate as a first-time fund manger and then closing Dawn Capital II via a commitment by their new VC Catalyst Fund".

More details about Dawn Capital can be found on the Dawn Capital website.

CEO's run for charity

Rory Earley is running the Great North Run in September 2013 in aid of MIND - visit Rory's fundraising site


£100m Angel Co-fund Goes National

Sheffield, 4 July 2013 - The Angel CoFund, which brings together businesses and entrepreneurs along with government and private sector investment extended across UK.

To date the fund has only been available to businesses in certain areas due to being funded from the Regional Growth Fund; but from today firms throughout the UK will be eligible for support.

George Whitehead, non-Executive Chairman of the Angel CoFund, said:

"The Angel CoFund works towards simple and sensible principles: we want to support and improve angel investing in the UK; and we want to get cash to good companies that can use the money to really scale their businesses. We are the most active fund in the country and the largest of its type in the world, and we are delighted to be able to support entrepreneurs across the UK in this way."

Since its launch in November 2011, the fund has supported 27 companies, providing £10 million in direct investment alongside £40 million from business angels. The fund is now able to accelerate its activities to meet the increasing demand from UK companies for this type of long term equity support, with an additional investment of £50 million in the 2013 Budget as part of the government’s Business Bank programme.

Check out the full announcement on gov.uk and find out more on the Angel Co-fund's website.


Chair's interview

12 June 2013 - In a wide-ranging discussion on the UK Business Angels Association website, Lucy Armstrong, Chair of Capital for Enterprise, talks about the Angel CoFund, the new Business Bank and the role of angels in the changing financial landscape.

Here is a link to the article  - Lucy Armstrong on the Wider Horizons for Angels.


Rory Earley steps down from EVFIN chairmanship

Sheffield, 30 May 2013 - Rory Earley, CEO of CfEL, has come to the end of his successful 12-month tenure as Chairman of the European Venture Funds Investors Network (EVFIN).  Jouni Hakala, a director of Finnish Industry Investment, the government-owned investment company in Finland, has been appointed as the new Chairman. Rory will continue to serve as Deputy Chairman.

EVFIN's objective is to enable sharing of best practices between its members, to contribute to the EU public debate on improving access to finance for SMEs, and explore joint operational partnerships. Altogether, its members have more than € 27 billion of assets under management.

Click for EVFIN's press release


Aspire Fund Considering New Investment Proposals

Sheffield, April 22 2013 - CfEL is pleased to announce that it is now able to once again consider new investment proposals for the Aspire Fund, designed to support female entrepreneurs across the UK. The Fund is able to make equity investments of between £100k and £1m, on a co-investment basis, in order to help strong businesses grow. It will consider start-ups where the product and market are proven.

The objective of the Fund is to increase the number of successful women-led businesses within the UK, ensuring that those with real potential to succeed are not held back through a lack of growth capital. The Aspire Fund’s co-investment approach aims to extend the range of companies that can be supported with the capital available, as well as meeting requirements for State Aid.

The Fund will provide up to 50% of funding for any one investment, alongside other private investors. Although the Fund is managed by Capital for Enterprise Ltd all investments will need to be matched and led by an experienced co-investor. Any approaches to CfEL should be made through the selected co-investor. The Fund is not able to invest to rescue failing businesses.

Investors interested in co-investment from the Aspire Fund should click here for more information and contact CfEL at aspire@capitalforenterprise.gov.uk or telephone 0114 206 2131.


Guidance On Accessing The ECF VC Catalyst Fund

Sheffield, April 12 2013 - Capital for Enterprise Limited (CfEL), the Government’s fund of funds manager, has published guidance on how venture capital fund managers can access the new VC Catalyst Fund which is part of the Enterprise Capital Fund programme.

This new £25 million fund was announced at the budget as part of the business bank initiative and will act as a commercial investor in venture funds. The Fund will make commitments of between £5 million and £10 million into venture funds that are around half way or more towards a first close and has been created to catalyse activity in the venture sector.

Download your copy here 

New Investment Programme

London, April 10 2013 - The Government has launched a new investment programme to encourage access to finance for SMEs under the auspices of the new business bank. 

More details on this can be found by following this link to the Investment Programme.

CfEL, which will eventually form an important part of the business bank, is working closely with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on this initiative.

Passion Capital Sells Stake In Mendelay To Elsevier

Sheffield, 9 April 2013 - Capital For Enterprise Ltd congratulates Passion Capital on a strong first exit from its Enterprise Capital Fund. The purchase of Mendelay by Elsevier will allow for further growth in the company and provides synergies with Elservier’s existing business

Read the press notice Read Report 1 and for reportage click Read Report 2.


Warm Liver Transplants - ECF portfolio company

Sheffield, 18 March 2013 - Surgeons in London have carried out the first 'warm liver' transplant using an organ which was 'kept alive' at body temperature in a machine.

Usually donor livers are kept on ice, but many become damaged as a result. An ECF portfolio company, Organox, has developed an innovative system for keeping a donated organ in better conditions and for twice as long as previously, which gives a much higher chance of successful transplantation.

See this link to the BBC website.

Organox is a portfolio company of the Oxford Technology Enterprise Capital Fund. More detail on the Enterprise Capital Fund programme can be found on the ECF page of this website.

Enterprise Capital Funds - Success Stories

Sheffield, 7 March 2013 - Produced with the support of the managers and entrepreneurs behind the success stories, the new ECF Case Study Brochure gives an insight into the achievements of a selection of the companies that have benefitted from the programme.

Download your copy here.

Capital For Enterprise Cuts Funding Costs For New Enterprise Capital Funds

Capital For Enterprise Ltd (CfEL) today confirmed a reduction in the rate to be charged on its commitment to new Enterprise Capital Funds (ECFs) from 4.5% to 3%. 

CfEL expects to continue to invest in 2 to 3 new funds per year as part of its rolling programme of investment and is looking for the best funds and managers to support.

The updated “Guidance for Prospective Managers”, published 6 February 2013, provides information and is essential reading for those thinking of managing an ECF. 

For more information click here 

Great Exit for Panoramic ECF

Sheffield, 31 January 2013 - CfEL congratulates Panoramic Growth Equity on an excellent first exit from its Enterprise Capital Fund.  Panoramic expects its sale of Solfex to Travis Perkins to return a 120% IRR on its initial investment.

More to be found Great Exit for Panoramic ECF.

Business Minister appoints two new Non-Executive Directors to CfEL

Sheffield, 15 January 2013 - Business Minister Michael Fallon has today announced the appointment of Heleen Kist and Jack Perry as Non-Executive Directors for Capital for Enterprise Limited. It has also been confirmed that John Spence's appointment to the Board has been extended by a year. 

The Angel CoFund celebrates its first anniversary

Sheffield, 10 December 2012 - The Fund was established and is administered with the support of Capital for Enterprise Limited (CfEL). In the last 12 months £24million has been invested in 18 innovative and entrepreneurial companies. Every £1 invested by the Angel CoFund (£6million total) has leveraged £3 from business angel syndicates (£18million total).

The full press notice can be found here

Longwall Ventures launches £40m Enterprise Capital Fund

Sheffield, 20 November 2012 - Capital For Enterprise Ltd today confirmed the launch of Longwall Ventures ECF, the twelfth Enterprise Capital Fund and second fund for the Longwall Venture Partners.

Longwall Ventures ECF comprises £25 million of Government investment alongside £15 million from private investors.

The full press notice can be found Longwall Ventures ECF Press Notice


Business Finance Partnership

Sheffield, June 2012 - Capital for Enterprise is pleased to support HM Treasury in the Business Finance Partnership initiative, which will make £100m available to support growth through encouraging new lending channels to businesses.  More details can be found on the Business Finance Partnership tab on this website.

Be an Angel

Sheffield, 29th May 2012 - CfEL welcomes the launch of the UK Business Angels Association's new campaign, "Be an Angel", to increase the knowledge and awareness of angel investing. 

The new website is Be an Angel.

New £83m Start-up Loan Scheme launched.

Sheffield, 28th May 2012 - CfEL is pleased to support the UK Government's Start Up Loan Scheme, which aims to make £83m available in loans to some 30,000 new businesses.

The Prime Minister launched the scheme on Monday 28th May; access the full press release on Start up Loans by clicking on this link.

Launch of GrowthAccelerator

Sheffield, 23rd May 2012 - CfEL is delighted to support the new GrowthAccelerator initiative which has been launched today by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Previously known as Business Coaching for Growth, it is a new £200 million Government backed programme to help England’s brightest businesses achieve their ambition and potential.

6,000 businesses will join the programme this year - 800 businesses are already engaged, including trailblazers like Huddle. 26,000 businesses will join the programme over the next three years.

The programme will increase the number of small businesses that have the potential for rapid growth by providing them with coaching to give them the know-how and ability to achieve sustainable growth.  

It will be delivered by the private sector for the private sector by some of the country’s leading business growth specialists and will provide expert business coaching tailored to addressing each business’s personal needs.

For more information visit www.growthaccelerator.com

Angel Co-Investment Fund making good progress

Sheffield, 9 May 2012 - The Angel CoFund has today announced the completion of its first five investments, with a total of £7.2 million committed to SMEs. Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk joined some of the first businesses to receive funding, following the end of a strong first quarter for the Angel CoFund, which was launched in November 2011.

The Government-backed, £50m Angel CoFund invests alongside syndicates of business angels into high potential SMEs from across England. The fund will boost the quality and quantity of business angel investing in England to support long-term, high quality jobs in growing companies. The Angel CoFund is a private sector fund supported by a grant from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund.

Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk said: “Business angels play a crucial role in supporting new and growing businesses, and the Angel CoFund is helping small firms get the vital funding they need.

“The variety of businesses that are receiving this funding reveals the range of skills and exciting opportunities that are being created today. It is absolutely critical that ambitious small firms can access the finance that they need to expand and grow."

Read the full BIS press release here.

The Fund has been designed and established by a consortium of private and public bodies with expertise in business angel investment. CfEL continues to provide both expertise and resource to ensure the successful execution of the Angel CoFund against its objectives.

More details can be found on the Angel Cofund's website.

Passion Capital celebrates its 20th investment in its first year of operation

Sheffield, May 2012 - Passion Capital, an Enterprise Capital Fund, has now made investments into twenty portfolio companies in its first year. 

TechCrunch, a leading technology industry commentator/website, observes that:-  

"Passion also seems to be ‘on trend’ in terms of government/state investment in (and subsidization of) venture capital funds, GigaOm recently noted.

Of Passion’s £37.5 million, £25 million is from the UK government – but it’s hard to see how this cash could be invested more efficiently. It’s in the hands of three amazing experts who can kick the tyres on startups down to the tiniest detail. Imagine if some terrible government ‘board’ had to deploy this money. Disaster."

Read TechCrunch's full article here.

CfEL is looking for managers who may be interested in running Enterprise Capital Funds.  Please contact Ken Cooper or Ian Connatty for further details, or look and the Portfolio page for more information.

A new Enterprise Capital Fund - Notion Capital

London, April 17 2012 - Notion Capital has today announced a first close for the latest Enterprise Capital Fund (ECF).  This is the 11th, and at £62.9m, the largest fund to date in the ECF programme.

The Notion ECF is the second fund for the Notion Capital team and is the first ECF in which the European Investment Fund (EIF) has also invested.  Total fund size will be up to £90m at its final close, expected in the next few months.  The fund targets emerging, high-growth cloud computing and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies in the UK and Europe.

The team at Notion have previously founded, built and exited three successful technology businesses, including MessageLabs, that was sold to Symantec for $700m, representing one of the largest ever transactions for a Cloud Computing business.

Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk said: “It is absolutely vital that ambitious small firms can access the finance they need to expand and grow, and this new Enterprise Capital Fund will provide at least £40m of funding to viable UK high-tech businesses. 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.”  

Rory Earley, CEO of Capital for Enterprise Limited said:  “We have been 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.  We are delighted that the team has reached first close with £62.9M in investor commitments, including a cornerstone investment from Capital for Enterprise. This result demonstrates the strength of the ECF programme and in particular the attractiveness of the Notion ECF.”

See full Notion press notice

CfEL publishes two research reports

Sheffield, March 2012 – CfEL published two research reports on its website today. The first report presents the results of CfEL’s Survey of Fund Managers conducted in November 2011.

55 managers of publicly-backed funds responded to the survey covering a range of topics including the state of the market for investments, difficulties raising follow-on rounds, exit opportunities, obstacles faced by investee companies, views of government policy and more.

The second report is an Overview of Publicly-Backed Venture Capital and Loan Funds (VCLFs) in the United Kingdom. This report, compiled from a range of sources, presents a high level quantitative and graphical overview of publicly-backed VCLFs in UK ranging from £1m-£2m pound loan funds to £200m funds-of-funds. It is designed to raise awareness of publicly backed VCLFs and is the first stage in a series of reports to cover in increasing detail the activity and performance of publicly-backed funds. 

New Lenders join Enterprise Finance Guarantee

Sheffield, February 2012 - Four new lenders have been accredited to offer loans to small businesses under the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) scheme, the Government announced today.

The EFG facilitates access to vital funding for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that lack the collateral or credit history to secure a normal bank loan.

The four new accredited lenders are Metro Bank, Hull Business Development Fund, Black Country Reinvestment Society and MSIF (providing finance to SMEs in Merseyside).

A press notice was released by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

A new round of accreditation has also been announced, which will be open from 1 March 2012. 

Chief Executive offers small business finance advice and guidance

Sheffield, February 2012 - The Capital for Enterprise Chief Executive, Rory Earley, has recent begun contributing to the small businessfinance.co.uk online blog to offer his expertise and knowledge in the areas of finance and banking for small businesses. The blog can be accessed at http://www.smallbusiness.co.uk/blogs/small-business-finance


Appointment of new Chair (Designate) for Capital for Enterprise - Lucy Armstrong

Sheffield, January 2012 - Capital for Enterprise is pleased to announce that Lucy Armstrong has been been appointed by BIS to be the new Chair of Capital for Enterprise, taking up her new post from 1 April 2012 on the retirement of David Quysner.

Lucy is chief executive of The Alchemists, a company that matches up experienced, successful entrepreneurs with high growth medium sized business to accelerate their growth.  Her earlier career was in private equity, corporate development and headhunting with 3i plc, Courtaulds Textiles and Tyzack.  She is a non-executive of a venture capital investment group and angel network, a national qualification body and acting chair of Northumbria University, and Chair of the CBI’s SME Council.

Progress towards a new Fund-of-funds for SMEs across Europe

Brussels, December 2011 - Capital for Enterprise is pleased to be be a signatory of the new Memorandum of Understanding for the creation of a new pan-European fund-of-funds to provide finance to SMEs.  The European Venture Funds Investor Network (EVFIN), of which CfEL is a founder member, will seek funds from a number of sources including the European Commission and national operators.

The full press release 6 can be found here.

Angel CoFund – Open for Business

Sheffield, December 2011 - The £50m Business Angel Co Investment Fund is now open for business. The fund is able to make initial equity investments of between £100K and £1M in to SMEs alongside syndicates of business angels, subject to certain geographical restrictions and an upper limit of 49% of any investment round. More information can be found at www.angelcofund.co.uk

The fund is not open to direct approaches from individual businesses and those seeking investment should first secure the interest of the business angel syndicate or network. Businesses seeking investment can find more information on business angels, syndicates and networks from the British Business Angels Association website www.ukbusinessangelsassociation.org.uk.

Extension of CfEL responsibilities and new additions to the CfEL team

Sheffield, October 2011 – On the 1st October 2011, Capital for Enterprise took responsibility for the oversight of the SME finance schemes previously under the oversight of the English Regional Development Agencies (RDAs), which are due to be abolished on 31st March 2012. This represents a very significant extension of CfEL’s responsibilities, as these schemes have made available more than £1 billion to SMEs.

CfEL is also pleased to welcome five new colleagues to the organisation, who have joined from the RDAs in the East & West Midlands and the North East.  More details can be found on our people page

Retirement of Capital for Enterprise Chairman, and appointment process for new Chairman

Sheffield, September 2011 -  David Quysner CBE, the current chairman of Capital for Enterprise has announced his retirement and will be leaving the company at the end of March 2012. David has made a significant impact since his appointment as the company's first chairman, and we would like to thank David for sharing his time and expertise.

The post of Chairman has been advertised and we expect to make a new appointment with effect from 1st April 2012

CfEL becomes Founder Member of European Venture Fund Investors Network

Sheffield, August 2011 - CfEL has become a member of the newly-formed European Venture Funds Investors Network (EVFIN). EVFIN is an informal platform for dialogue launched in March 2011 in response to the critical situation faced by the venture capital industry in Europe. This Network gathers 11 major European public and private operators active in the field of venture capital and venture capital funds. It is aimed at facilitating exchange of best practices among its members, at developing a seamless European venture capital industry and at bringing out concrete measures at the European level to promote the development of this industry in cooperation with the European institutions.

Announcement of Business Angel Co-Investment Fund

Sheffield, 12 April 2011 - Capital for Enterprise welcomes the announcement of the allocations of the first round of the Regional Growth Fund.  CfEL will manage an allocation of £50m to invest alongside business angel syndicates into eligible SMEs.

More detail on this can be found on the Portfolio page.

Reappointment of Capital for Enterprise Non-Executive Directors

London, 1 April 2011 - Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk has today announced the reappointment of Alison Loudon, John Spence and John McCrory as Non-Executive Directors of Capital for Enterprise Limited. Alison Loudon will serve until 30 June 2012, John Spence until 31 March 2013, and John McCrory until 31 March 2014.

Capital for Enterprise supports a tenth Enterprise Capital Fund

Sheffield, 29 March 2011 - Early stage investment firm Passion Capital has announced its first investment fund closing at £37.5 million ($60 million). Partners Stefan Glaenzer, Eileen Burbidge and Robert Dighero will invest in ambitious entrepreneurs who have global ambition with early stage digital media and technology startups. This new fund will help address the increasing demand by early stage founders and teams for seed capital – at the most critical range of the equity and funding gap for SMEs.

The team secured significant funding from the private sector, validating interest and appetite from family funds and high net-worth individuals for supporting high tech startups. The UK Government has also invested £25 million, in this the 10th Enterprise Capital Fund (ECF) launched since the programme began in 2006.

Full press release 1

European long-term financial institutions launch a common initiative on European Venture Capital funding

Brussels, February 7, 2011 - Capital for Enterprise (UK), CDC Entreprises, a subsidiary of the Caisse des Dépôts (France), announced on February 7, 2011, the launch of a working group aimed at proposing actions to improve the situation of the European venture capital industry, to complement existing measures at the European level. This initiative has already attracted expressions of interest from public and private investment companies.

The two institutions welcome the conclusions of the European Council meeting on February 4, 2011 which has called on the European Commission to present in 2011 proposals for setting up an EU wide venture capital scheme building on the European Investment Fund in cooperation with national financial institutions. They therefore stand ready to start promptly a dialogue with European authorities to bring inputs to this initiative.

The financial crisis of 2008 has dramatically hampered fundraising for venture capital funds amounts raised by those funds decreased by four billion Euros between 2008 and 2009 - dropping from 7.4 billion Euros in 2008 to 3.6 billion Euros in 2009 - following a falling trend that continued into 2010 (Dow Jones Venture Source 2010). Accordingly, amounts invested by venture capital in SMEs decreased from €17 billion in 2006 to €5 billion in 2009 (Source: EVCA/PEREP 2007-2009).

In this respect, the purpose of this working group is to consider, define and evaluate the opportunity for new programmes and actions to be implemented on a pan-European basis in order to support and develop emerging and proven fund management companies across the EU. Other European public and private investors are also invited to join the initiative.

Full press release 2

Spending Review - Confirmation of Enterprise Capital Fund programme and extension of Enterprise Finance Guarantee

November 2010 - Capital for Enterprise welcomes the outcome of the Comprehensive Spending Review, which has confirmed:-

  • a further £200m for the Enterprise Capital Fund programme over the period 2011-2015
  • that the Enterprise Finance Guarantee will be extended to £700m for the next four years.

CfEL looks forward to working with equity managers and lending institutions to optimise the effectiveness of these programmes to support the growth of SMEs.  

Capital for Enterprise welcomes the emergency budget, which brings additional funding support for the SME sector

22 June 2010 - The Emergency Budget on 22 June 2010 contained three announcements directly relevant to SME activity:

  • The extension of the Enterprise Finance Guarantee from £500m to £700m in the year to 31 March 2010
  • The announcement of a new Enterprise Capital Fund, the details of which will be announced by Capital for Enterprise when the private fundraising has been completed by the manager
  • The confirmation of the funding for the Growth Capital fund, which is to be established in response to Chris Rowlands’ Growth Capital Review.

This demonstrates the Government’s commitment to ongoing investment in SME Finance.


Second Tranche of the UK Innovation Investment Fund is up and running following first closing of the £200m UK Future Technologies Fund run by the European Investment Fund

22 February 2010 - Capital for Enterprise Limited (CfEL) was appointed by the Government to advise on the development of the landmark £150million UK Innovation and Investment Fund and to lead the process of selecting and appointing the investment fund managers. Commenting today on the appointment of the European Investment Fund to manage a proportion of the UKIIF, Rory Earley, CEO of CfEL, said:

"Following the successful appointment of Hermes Private Equity in January, we are delighted to have now completed negotiations with the European Investment Fund to manage independently a proportion of the UKIIF. Having worked closely with the team at the EIF to bring this contract to completion, we have been impressed with their professionalism and expertise and have confidence that they will continue to grow the capacity of the UKIIF and make an invaluable contribution to the government’s continuing drive to support young British businesses.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said:

“Our new £325 million Innovation Investment Fund – launched as part of Building Britain’s Future – shows our commitment to the industries and the technologies that will create the skilled jobs of the future.

“This fund, seeded by the Government, is bringing private venture capital to growing enterprises. It is already providing £125 million of funding to high tech, low carbon businesses. From today, a further £200 million will be available for life sciences, digital and advanced manufacturing.”

The Government appointed Capital for Enterprise Limited (CfEL) to advise on the development of the UKIIF and to lead the process of selecting and appointing the investment fund managers. CfEL negotiated the fund with EIF as part of the Government’s continuing drive to support young British businesses.

 Rory Earley, CEO of Capital for Enterprise, profiled by AltAssets

15 February 2010 - Rory Earley met with AltAssets to shed light on bridging the UK’s equity gap, ensuring the newly launched UK Innovation Investment Fund helps businesses in this country, the performance of government-backed venture funding and learning from past investment mistakes.

Read the full article

 The UK Innovation Investment Fund is off the ground with the first closing of the £125m Hermes Private Equity Environmental Innovation fund.

26 January 2010 - It’s taken only 7 months for UKIIF to launch the first of two funds, the Hermes Environmental Innovation Fund, which has already raised £125m and will continue to seek further funding from investors.

The Environmental Innovation Fund, managed by Hermes Private Equity, will now start investing in low carbon and clean technology funds and co-investing in companies, providing much needed venture capital to help these innovative businesses grow. The Hermes Fund will focus on investment opportunities aimed at increasing the efficient use of resources (both renewable and non renewable) at all stages of production and consumption. 

Over the past decade, the UK has emerged as a European frontrunner in alternative energy investment and is well positioned to further develop a sustainable market competitive globally.  The Hermes Fund will look to benefit from this attractive market framework and expects to commit its capital over the next 2-3 years.

The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown MP, said

“The UK has a wealth of innovators and entrepreneurs seeking to create the businesses of tomorrow – businesses that will make the UK a world-leader in low carbon innovation and industry, and help to tackle some of the biggest challenges we face around energy and climate change. This fund will provide substantial investment where it is needed and deliver strong returns for investors."

Capital for Enterprise Limited managed the investment process and the negotiations with Hermes on behalf of HM Government.

Capital for Enterprise appoints Richard Hepper as deputy Chief Executive 

Monday, 9 November 2009. Capital for Enterprise Ltd (CfEL), the UK Government’s venture capital and loan guarantee business, has appointed Richard Hepper to help with the rapid expansion of its business and to join the team driving its future direction. .

Hepper joins CfEL from Oxford Capital where he was an Executive Director. Oxford Capital is a previous winner of the prestigious “Venture Capital House of the Year” award. His previous venture investing career was at Enterprise Ventures Group and 3i. He also has significant strategic consulting experience from his time at Arthur D Little. He is an FCA and an economics graduate of Emmanuel College Cambridge.

Commenting on the appointment Rory Earley, Chief Executive of Capital for Enterprise Ltd, says: “I am delighted to have Richard on board. He will bring invaluable skills in helping us to grow the business and better serve our clients. “Since its creation Capital for Enterprise has striven to recruit the highest quality professionals from the venture capital sector. Richard will certainly add to our expertise and help drive our strategy over the coming years.”

Richard Hepper says: “At a time when many businesses are looking for new sources of finance in this recession, Capital for Enterprise sits at a pivotal position within SME funding. I am very pleased to be joining a first-class team which is making a significant difference to real businesses around the country.” 

Capital for Enterprise announces £42m in support for two new funds

Capital for Enterprise awards £42m to support two new Enterprise Capital Funds with a target fund value of £62.5m.

Monday, 7 September 2009. Capital for Enterprise Ltd (CfEL) has awarded two new Enterprise Capital Fund (ECF) mandates to Panoramic Growth Equity and Beringea, marking a major advance in activity for the government backed fund. The funds are now raising private capital with a target of reaching £32.5m and £30m respectively in the coming months.

The ECF programme was launched in 2006 and now comprises a portfolio of 8 active funds with £215m with which to make investments. £142m of the £215m has been provided by the Government with a further £73m from private investors. To date £40m has been invested through the funds in 45 growing UK businesses.

Edinburgh based Panoramic Growth Equity will look to make investments throughout the UK in businesses with established cash flows which can demonstrate strong growth prospects. They will also look to support earlier stage investments where the management team have a strong track record of prior success. The fund is broadly generalist but with a specific focus on the Energy, Water, Healthcare, Media, Business Services and Communications sectors.

London based Beringea’s new ECF Beringea Digital Ventures will look to make investments in the digital media arena, supporting creative businesses through the inflexion point to bring products to wider national and global markets. The company will use their strong network within media and technology in the UK and US to assist their portfolio businesses in developing to fulfil their potential.

The ECF programme continues to look at prospective teams and funds in order to provide investment for strong businesses across the UK. Potential managers wishing to secure an ECF mandate are advised to make contact with the investment team in CfEL prior to submitting a proposal.

Full press release 3

Capital for Enterprise Aspire Fund announces deal with Altacor

Specialist Ophthalmic pharmaceutical development company Altacor to receive £400,000 capital funding from CfEL in order to maintain business expansion.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009. Capital for Enterprise Ltd (CfEL) has made an investment of £400,000 from the £12.5m Aspire Fund into Altacor, a leading Ophthalmology development and marketing company.

The Aspire Fund’s £400,000 of equity funding completes a £1,000,000 funding round, alongside Esperante and Beringea, in order to ensure Altacor has access to fresh capital and can sustain its pharmaceutical development, formulation and marketing activities.

Other investors in this round are Netherlands based healthcare specialists Esperante and Beringea’s ProVen Health VCT.

Established in November 2008, the £12.5m Aspire Fund targets support for women-led businesses with an objective to increase the number of successful female entrepreneurs within the UK, ensuring that those with real potential to succeed are not held back through a lack of growth capital. The Fund is able to make investments of between £100k and £1m, providing up to 50% of capital in a funding round alongside other private investors. The Aspire Fund is managed by Capital for Enterprise on behalf of the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Full press release 4

Capital for Enterprise confirms first Aspire Fund deal

Online charity fundraising site Everyclick receives £350k capital boost from CfEL to maintain impressive growth

Thursday, 23 July 2009. Capital for Enterprise Ltd (CfEL) is pleased to announce an investment of £350k from the £12.5m Aspire Fund to Everyclick, a leading provider of on-line fund raising tools for charities. The investment represents the first investment of the major new fund offered by Capital for Enterprise, an asset management business that designs, implements and manages finance measures to support Small and Medium Size enterprises (‘SMEs’) across the UK.

The Aspire Fund’s £350,000 of equity funding completes a £700,000 funding round which will ensure that Everyclick has access to fresh working capital and can maintain its impressive growth through new business development and contract wins.

Award winning, Gloucestershire based, software company Everyclick provides an on-line platform which enables consumers to make secure donations to any one of the UK’s 200,000 charities. The platform carries an expanding range of tailored services for charities and corporate sponsors. These include donations, sponsorship, appeals, vouchers, eGreetings, shopping and search based giving.

Established in November 2008, the £12.5m Aspire Fund targets support for women-led businesses with an objective to increase the number of successful female entrepreneurs within the UK, ensuring that those with real potential to succeed are not held back through a lack of growth capital. The Fund is able to make equity investments of between £100k and £1m, providing up to 50% of capital in a funding round alongside other private investors.

Full press release 5