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CIOSIF supporting growth and innovation says new report

A £40m investment fund to help growing small businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is boosting business performance and changing attitudes to finance, according to a new report.

The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund (CIOSIF) was set up by the British Business Bank and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to increase access to finance for small and medium sized businesses across the region.

It is designed to help businesses start up, invest and grow and aims to increase financing options for smaller businesses including access to venture capital which has traditionally been weak in Cornwall and Scilly with a lack of choice.

The British Business Bank commissioned economic development consultancy SQW to carry out an early stage assessment of CIOSIF in its first full year of operation.

It found that businesses in receipt of CIOSIF funding had shown a marked improvement in performance and productivity including:

  • new highly skilled jobs and upskilling of existing skills,
  • more investment in research, development and innovation; and
  • the launch of new products and services.

All of the portfolio businesses had increased employment, with a quarter of the jobs created being in the top 25% of income – or above £35,600 a year, compared to Cornwall’s average annual wage of £21,000.

Without CIOSIF investment, most businesses surveyed said projects would have been delayed or not happened at all, and they said CIOSIF played an important role in helping them secure match funding from other sources.

Significantly, 85% said engaging with the fund had made them more confident about raising funding from private sector sources in the future, which is seen as an important part of changing attitudes towards external finance and developing a sustainable market.

The fund’s latest equity investment was £140,000 to support the growth of Penryn-based agri-tech business Glas Data as part of a larger funding round which included investment form both existing and new private investors. It will allow the business to recruit new staff including software engineers, a project manager and customer services employees.

John Acornley, a director of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP and chair of the CIOSIF Advisory Board, said: “The fund has quickly established itself as an important part of the financial landscape in Cornwall and Scilly, driving job creation, business growth and innovation. Without CIOSIF a lot of the activity it has helped to fund simply would not have happened.”

Ken Cooper, Managing Director, Venture Solutions, at the British Business Bank, said: “This report shows that the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund is having a positive impact on businesses and it is starting to impact on the way entrepreneurs consider their growth options.

“There is growing knowledge and awareness among businesses about the different finance options available, especially when it comes to equity funding where demand is growing strongly.

“CIOSIF can be a catalyst for attracting new finance providers into Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly in the longer term. That’s important if we are going to translate finance into growth and achieve the levelling up in access to finance that the region needs.”

CIOSIF provides debt and equity finance from £25,000 to £2 million to help growing small businesses across the region. It is supported by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

For more information about CIOSIF including how to apply, please visit www.ciosif.co.uk  or follow the fund on Twitter at @CIOSIFBBB2

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For more information contact: Jason Clark, DCA Public Relations, jason.clark@dca-pr.co.uk

Notes to editors:

About the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund (CIOSIF)

The £40m Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund provides debt and equity finance from £25,000 to £2 million to help growing small businesses in Cornwall and Scilly. It has been established by the British Business Bank in partnership with the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP and is operated by appointed fund

For more information about the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund including how to apply, please visit www.ciosif.co.uk or follow the fund on Twitter at @CIOSIFBBB2

The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund, is providing debt and equity finance, ranging from £25,000 to £2m, specifically to help small and medium sized businesses secure the funding they need for growth and development.

The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund is operated by British Business Financial Services Limited, wholly owned by British Business Bank, the UK’s national economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity.

The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the CIOS Local Enterprise Partnership and HMG grant funding.

The project is receiving funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding

The Government has guaranteed all funding allocated through EU programmes until the end of 2020. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/funding-from-eu-programmes-guaranteed-until-the-end-of-2020

The funds in which Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund invests are open to businesses with material operations, or planning to open material operations, in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly only.

The British Business Bank has published the Business Finance Guide (in partnership with the ICAEW, and a further 21 business and finance organisations). The guide, which impartially sets out the range finance options available to businesses and provides links to support available at a regional level, is available at www.thebusinessfinanceguide.co.uk

About the British Business Bank:

The British Business Bank is the UK’s national economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity. Our remit is to design, deliver and efficiently manage UK-wide smaller business access to finance programmes for the UK government.

The British Business Bank programmes are supporting more than £7.0bn of finance to over 91,000 smaller businesses (as at end of June 2019). As well as increasing both supply and diversity of finance for UK smaller businesses through its programmes, the Bank works to raise awareness of the finance options available to smaller businesses:

  • The Business Finance Guide (published in partnership with the ICAEW and a further 21 business and finance organisations) impartially sets out the range of finance options available to businesses at all stages – from start-ups to SMEs and growing mid-sized companies. Businesses can take the interactive journey at www.thebusinessfinanceguide.co.uk
  • The British Business Bank Finance Hub provides independent and impartial information to high-growth businesses about their finance options, featuring short films, expert guides, checklists and articles from finance providers to help make their application a success. The new site also features case studies and learnings from real businesses to guide businesses through the process of applying for growth finance.

As the holding company of the group operating under the trading name of British Business Bank, British Business Bank plc is wholly owned by HM Government and is not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The British Business Bank operates under its own brand name through a number of subsidiaries, none of which are authorised and regulated by the FCA.

British Business Bank plc and its principal operating subsidiaries are not banking institutions and do not operate as such. A complete legal structure chart for British Business Bank plc and its subsidiaries can be found on the British Business Bank plc website.