By Daniel Hunter
Business Secretary Vince Cable announced today (Tuesday) that a £25 million boost will be given to small but innovative UK businesses.
Episode 1 is a £37.5 million fund and the 14th Enterprise Capital Fund - the government’s scheme to support fund managers who invest in small, high growth businesses.
Episode 1 will be led by Dr Simon Murdoch, an experienced investor who has successfully invested in some of the most significant UK tech companies of the last 10 years including LoveFilm, Zoopla and Shazam. The fund has attracted £12.5 million of private investment, alongside the £25 million from the government, and will invest between £250,000 and £2 million into 20 to 30 early-stage technology companies.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “We are determined to give entrepreneurs the financial support they need to grow. This new £37.5 million Enterprise Capital Fund will target a serious gap in the equity market for high growth small firms.”
Dr Simon Murdoch, Partner, Episode 1 said: “I know from personal experience, it is hard to start and grow a business, even without the added difficulties of the current economic climate. Raising venture funding is even harder. Our aim is to establish Episode 1 as the best place to come for early stage technology entrepreneurs looking for up to £2 million of funding.
“We’ve raised the money for the fund from other entrepreneurs and successful business people, and this has been supplemented by the finance matching from the UK government which enables us to invest and help more high growth UK businesses with global-market aspirations.”
Later today (Tuesday) the Business Secretary will give a speech at TheCityUK on how equity finance is a viable alternative source of finance for small and medium sized businesses looking for support.
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