Scaleup programmes

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British Business Bank: Enterprise Capital Fund

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. Launched in 2006, 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. ECFs are commercially focused funds that bring together private and public money to make equity investments in high growth businesses. It is working with 35 Fund partners across the UK.  

To date, 43 ECFs have been in operation, providing £784m of equity finance and supporting more than 675 innovative growing businesses across a range of sectors. 

The top five sectors supported by ECFs are SaaS, AI, industrials, TMT (technology media and telecommunications), and healthcare – 53% 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 31 fund managers to raise their first institutional fund and 89% 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. Since inception the capital committed by the British Business Bank and the matched private sector capital has amounted to £2bn. The Bank’s rolling investment programme of commitments to new ECFs is a competitive process, with typically two to three investments made per year. Recent ECFs include Imbiba Growth II LP – Imbiba is a B Corp accredited investor which focuses in leisure and lifestyle businesses – and Mercuri (formerly GMG Ventures), which backs companies at the intersection of media and technology.  

The current fund managers include: Active Partners, Ada Ventures, Amadeus Capital Partners, Catapult Ventures,Concept 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, Mercuri, Notion Capital, Panoramic Growth Equity, Passion Capital, Pentech, Redrice, Seraphim Capital, Superseed Ventures, Sure Valley Ventures, Sussex Place Ventures, VGC Partners, Zinc VC.

British Business Bank: Enterprise Capital Fund website