News story

Scale-ups on the agenda for Small Business Minister in Manchester and Stoke

A new £40 million entrepreneur fund backed by the British Business Bank was announced today by Small Business Minister Margot James.


A new £40 million entrepreneur fund backed by the British Business Bank was announced today (21 September 2016) by Small Business Minister Margot James, as she met with entrepreneurs in the Midlands and north-west.

The 21st of its kind, the new Enterprise Capital Fund is supported with £26 million from the government-owned British Business Bank. The fund will offer a total investment capacity of £40 million designed to specifically help rapid growth businesses scale up. Active Private Equity, which specialises in helping consumer-focused businesses grow their brands and build the infrastructure needed to scale up successfully, will run the fund.

Margot James made the announcement in Manchester during the Scale-Up Institute’s regional economic growth programme, which brings together Local Enterprise Partnerships, Growth Hubs, business schools and entrepreneurs to help drive local growth.

Small Business Minister Margot James said:

Small businesses are at the heart of our economy and the whole country benefits when they grow and create jobs for people. The government-owned British Business Bank is helping more than 48,000 businesses with over £3.1 billion of support, much of it going to those with high-growth potential.

The minister went on to visit 3 different organisations in Manchester which all support small and medium sized firms. Tech North, Rise and Central Working are housed on a single site in Deansgate and provide high-tech work spaces and support for start-ups looking to scale up and grow.

Earlier in the day, Margot James attended a meeting hosted by Emma Bridgwater Pottery in Stoke-on-Trent, which recently announced plans for a £1 million expansion to create 70 new jobs.

As the newly appointed local growth champion for Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, the minister met with local businesses and representatives from the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to hear about the issues that matter most to them. Other businesses attending the meeting included Valentine Clays, Dermal Technology Laboratories, Woolcool, and Lister Trade Frames.

Published 21 September 2016