SME takes a look at the history of the fund and more importantly, who it can help.
About the fund
Set up in 2011, the Business Growth Fund (BGF) was formed by the five major banks in the UK to provide long-term capital to ambitious entrepreneurs across the UK and is now the most active provider of these vital funds to British businesses.
Businesses that make use of this resource tend to have a good track record and a turnover of between £5m and £100m and are private or AIM listed companies. All of them have seasoned entrepreneurs at their heart who have a clear vision for growth.
What should businesses do to attract investment?
The BGF is a long-term partner for businesses so it looks for companies that are typically looking to fund a five- to ten-year plan.
What else does the BGF provide?
It also supports businesses through practical advice, strategic input and networking opportunities. The BGF has a ‘talent network’ of successful entrepreneurs and business professionals who are actively looking to support the growth and development of business. They can join the company as a board member and add their sector experience and knowledge of developing medium-sized businesses.
Within the BGF team there is a group of investors that will challenge management teams as they seek to grow their company. The BGF will always take a seat on the board of the business and have a partner around the table to help the entrepreneur drive the growth plan forward to minimise risk and take on opportunities as they present themselves.
What does the BGF look for in an application?
Marion Bernard, the BGF’s London and south-east regional investment director says: “For us, it’s all about people. It’s about meeting the entrepreneurs and the management team at the heart of the business… The management team need to be ready to spend time with the BGF team and we want to know the business and get to know the people to see how a partnership could really help that business.
“I think it’s less about the written plans and more about the conversation and the engagement that we can have with the people who are at the heart of the company we would be backing… It’s about looking at a good track record, a business model that is proven and looking ahead at how BGF investment can provide [long-term] support.”