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British Business Bank: Enterprise Capital Fund [2021]

Finance and Risk Capital

Impact for scaleups


Companies backed


Investment outside of London


Total investment capacity of the programme

Key sectors

Impact ventures / Social Impact Life Sciences & Biotech Building & Construction Manufacturing / Advanced Manufacturing Creative, digital, film, games & media Professional services Defence & security Technology & Communications Engineering / Advanced Engineering Transport & Logistics Environmental Science & Technology Farming, fisheries & forestry Finance Food & drink Healthcare

The British Business Bank’s Enterprise Capital Funds (ECF) programme combines private and public money to make equity investments in high growth businesses. It is designed to increase the supply of equity to UK growth companies and to lower the barriers to entry for fund managers looking to operate in the venture capital market. It is working with 35 Fund partners across the UK.

Since their inception in 2006, 36 ECFs have been launched, supporting more than 600 innovative growing businesses across a range of sectors. The top five sectors supported by ECFs are SaaS, AI, industrials, e-commerce, and healthcare – 53 per cent of the investments are outside of London.

The British Business Bank invests alongside VC funds on terms that improve the outcome for private investors when those funds are successful. The ECF programme has helped over 35 fund managers to raise their first institutional fund and 84% of the fund managers they have invested in prior to 2016 have already gone to raise a further fund. The average size of an ECF has increased from £20m to closer to £60m during the lifetime of the programme.

From inception, the ECF programme has committed more than £1.66bn of finance, of which the British Business Bank has contributed almost £900m. The bank operates a rolling investment programme for commitments to new ECFs and welcomes new applications from UK fund managers.

In 2021, British Business Bank, as part of the ECF programme, was the cornerstone investor in Redrice Ventures’ first venture capital fund worth £50m and also Form Ventures £30m Fund II.

The current fund managers include: Active Partners, Ada Ventures, Amadeus Capital Partners, Catapult Ventures, Dawn Capital, Edge Investment, Eka Ventures, Entrepreneur First, Episode 1, Epidarex Capital, Foresight Group, Form Ventures, Imbiba, IQ Capital, Jam Jar Investments, Longwall Ventures, Notion Capital, Panoramic Growth Equity, Passion Capital, Pentech, Redrice, Seraphim Capital, Sussex Place Ventures, VGC Partners.

British Business Bank: Enterprise Capital Fund [2021] website