Financing for innovative and growing businesses finally takes centre stage

National provider of legal and professional services, Ashfords LLP is currently formulating a response to the government consultation, ‘Financing Growth in Innovative Firms’, which is seeking to address factors affecting the supply of capital for innovative and growing businesses.

The firm will be asking their entrepreneurial, start-up and SME clients across the UK for their views on the government's proposals and will submit their summary report ahead of the 22 September 2017 closing date.

Andrew Betteridge, Partner and Head of the Corporate and Commercial Teams at Ashfords, comments:

“We welcome the Government Consultation; it is a much needed step in addressing the issues that firms face in accessing funding, particularly when considering the £4 billion funding gap between American companies and their British counterparts.

"This coupled with the potential withdrawal of European Investment Fund money post-Brexit, means that the financing options for start-ups and scale-ups is looking even more uncertain, so we are pleased that the Government is finally looking to address this.

"Britain’s entrepreneurs and SMEs are the backbone of our economy and we urge our clients to come forward and contribute their insightful views to our response. This is an important opportunity to help shape Government policy so that SMEs have the best access to funding to continue to thrive.”

The consultation has been published as part of the government's Patient Capital Review and sets out evidence of a reduced supply of patient capital in the UK, whilst proposing potential policy options that might help to address this. One of the proposals is a new investment fund for innovative UK companies to help them reach "unicorn" status (valued at £760 million or above). An alternative proposal is to use a fund on the government’s balance sheet with the objective of selling part or all of the fund to private investors once it has established a track record. The final suggestion proposed is to increase government investment through existing channels. For each of the three proposals, government investment would be made available through the British Business Bank.

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