Bristol entrepreneurs backing the latest business ventures across the city have helped deliver a £2.2m windfall for the local economy.
The inaugural Business Performance Survey carried out on behalf of Bristol Private Equity Club has underlined the extent to which members’ investments have paid off for the wider Bristol economy and jobs market.
The investments have also indirectly provided additional public funds through tax and rates at local and national level.
BPEC founder member Jerry Barnes said of their multi-million pound investment programme: “There are always going to be people who look at what we do and say we are just a group of successful people looking for a hot investment opportunity to increase our own wealth. Our first in-depth business survey makes it clear how our investments are supporting the wider community.
“The new enterprises we have supported have generated £2.2m in terms of local business activities and wages – while contributing £511,000 in local and national taxation. Our first eight investments in six businesses enabled those involved to double their collective workforce creating 34 new jobs – a 110% rise in the number of people employed by them.
“While the numbers involved aren’t huge there is a clear potential to improve employment prospects in the city as we expand our investment portfolio. We only look for investments with a strong connection to Bristol so as our portfolio grows so does the benefit for Bristol.”
The survey looked at the impact that investments made in 2017 in six local businesses have had. Since then the Bristol Private Equity Club has invested in six further businesses. The survey will now be held annually to check the progress of all businesses that have been supported by the Club and track growth and benefit to Bristol.
Tax relief under the Enterprise Investment Scheme across the portfolio came to £523,000 but the strong growth of the businesses mean that tax paid has ensured the impact on the Exchequer is close to neutral in just one year.
Barnes continued: “The survey shows that providing tax incentives in the right area is a good thing for the public purse as it has enabled these businesses to grow and contribute and as they grow further that will benefit the exchequer.”
Launched in 2016, Bristol Private Equity Club now has over 70 members who offer experience as well as capital with the emphasis on backing projects in the Bristol and Bath area. The club takes typically invests between £150,000 to £500,000 in businesses in return for a significant minority equity stake.
The six businesses that contributed data for the survey were Wriggle, Azul Optics, YellowDog, AutonoMe, Limber and NuNano.