British Business Investments, a commercial subsidiary of the British Business Bank, has launched a new £100m Regional Angels Programme, designed to help reduce regional imbalances in access to early stage equity finance for smaller businesses across the UK.
This new commercial programme aims to address this issue by increasing the availability, supply and awareness of angel and other early-stage equity investments across the country, particularly in areas where this type of finance is less readily available.
British Business Bank research published earlier this year found that 57% of business angels are based in London and the South East, with 35% in London and 22% in the South East. Also, nearly a third of business angels’ investments are made in London (31%), followed by the South East (12%).
In England, the South West has the largest number of business angels outside of London and the South East (6%), followed by the North West (5%) and the East of England (5%). In the devolved nations, 8% of UK business angels are based in Scotland, 4% in Wales and just 1% in Northern Ireland.
The new Regional Angels Programme will work by committing funds for investment alongside business angels and other early stage equity investors, acting as a catalyst to bring longer-term capital to smaller businesses with growth ambitions.
Catherine Lewis La Torre, CEO, British Business Investments, said: “British Business Bank research shows that the UK’s high-growth smaller businesses suffer from regional imbalances in the supply of early stage finance. The new Regional Angels Programme will deploy £100m of new funding to help redress the balance.
“This programme will ensure that more ambitious smaller businesses can access the early stage equity finance they need to grow and succeed, wherever they are in the UK.”
Jenny Tooth, CEO of the UK Business Angels Association, said: “As the trade body for angel and early stage investing, we are delighted to be working with British Business Investments to support the launch of this new £100m funding initiative, introduced following the Patient Capital Review. This new commercially-focused funding stream will bring a real boost to the finance ecosystem in the regions where angel capacity is currently uneven.
“This additional investment capital offers the opportunity to stimulate vital new sources of angel capital to back entrepreneurs with growth potential, many of whom currently have to seek the angel investment they need in London and the Southeast.”