The Scottish Government has committed £2 billion to the Bank over the next 10 years ensuring opportunities for the Bank to make long-term investments in SMEs across Scotland, with a particular focus on "green" projects. The new Bank will supplement the work done by the Scottish Investment Bank (the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise) which itself has provided financial support to a broad range of companies since its inception.
The backing of a committed, long term, investor from the public sector should be music to the ears of entrepreneurs seeking to scale their company as there is an expectation that entrepreneurs will be given an opportunity to focus on growing their business rather than delivering short term returns to investors.
The Scottish Investment Bank in its current form has acted not only as a co-investor alongside private investors but also as an introducer and facilitator for relationships between investee companies and investors. The new Bank should continue, and even enhance, this tradition of supporting the private equity market in Scotland. A key issue for some Scottish companies is the lack of "next level" funding after the angel and seed investment stage. One of the principal objectives of the existing Scottish Investment Bank is to attract international investment for Scottish companies. With the new Bank likely to be a more proactive public investor, making larger capital contributions, this may attract interest from larger, global investors seeking a co-investment partner or an introduction to particular opportunities.
What is certain is that the new Bank will undoubtedly provide certain companies with access to finance that would otherwise not be available and will bolster the private equity market in Scotland. DWF have significant expertise in private equity investment at the angel, seed and venture capital stage and would be delighted to speak with any investors or entrepreneurs in this regard.