British Business Bank backs growth ambitions of Scottish Smaller Businesses

Leading voices from across Scotland’s business community are gathering today in Glasgow to discuss how to support growth ambitions of small businesses. The event, Financing Scottish Growth Ambitions, is being organised by the British Business Bank, the UK’s national economic development bank.

Lord Smith of Kelvin, Chair of the British Business Bank, will welcome guests to the event, which will feature a keynote address from the Secretary of State for Scotland, the Rt Hon David Mundell MP. Host and moderator Kirsty Wark will lead two panel discussions on how best to support Scottish SME growth and improve access to finance, and on the importance of patient capital.

The event enables the Scottish business finance community to highlight and explore issues faced by SMEs in Scotland, and what more can be done to support their ambition. Working with partners in Scotland, the British Business Bank is already actively supporting Scottish small businesses, currently providing over £460m to over 3,600 businesses. In addition, over 3,300 new businesses have used the Bank’s Startup Loans programme as they started out on their enterprise journey.

The Scottish Economy infographic

The Bank also received £2.5 billion of additional resources at last year’s Autumn Budget to stimulate greater flows of long-term patient capital to ambitious, innovative businesses. The event will be an opportunity to highlight the importance of this work, and how Scottish partners can take full advantage of the initiative.

Lord Smith of Kelvin, Chair of the British Business Bank said: “Today we are celebrating the success of Scottish smaller businesses and working to ensure that they are able to stay based here in Scotland as they grow into the world beaters of tomorrow. The British Business Bank is here to help support that ambition.  We want to ensure that every Scottish smaller business is aware of and able to access the finance it needs to grow and succeed. The Bank is already active in the Scottish economy, supporting nearly £0.5bn of finance for Scottish SMEs, with further action to come.

“Perhaps most significant development is British Patient Capital, a new £2.5 billion initiative, launched in June, to provide the longer-term patient capital that smaller businesses across the UK need to realise their growth ambitions. We look forward to discussing today with the Scottish investment community how they can take full advantage of this new exciting initiative.

“We recognise that Scotland is a world leading centre for angel investing, which can be so critical in the early stages of a business’s development. But we want to see what we can do to develop this angel ecosystem even further to help take those companies it supports to the next level. We will shortly be expanding support for the development of regional angel clusters through our Regional Angel Programme, which launches in the Autumn. Again, we will be speaking to our counterparts in Scotland so they and the ambitious businesses they support can take full advantage of the programme.”

Scotland Secretary, David Mundell, said: “I’m very pleased to support the British Business Bank’s efforts to drive economic growth for small businesses, both in Scotland, and right across the UK.

“SMEs are the beating heart of the Scottish economy, offering exceptional skills, products and services. The UK Government is determined to do all it can to support them.

“I look forward to hearing how we can continue to work with small businesses for the good of the Scottish economy.”

The Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said: “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy supporting nearly 900,000 jobs with revenues of £68 billion in Scotland alone.

“Through our modern Industrial Strategy and the British Business Bank we are helping small businesses in all parts of Scotland access the finance they need to grow and succeed.”




The latest research from the British Business Bank shows:

  • Scotland’s equity finance market is on the rise: the amount of equity investment in Scottish companies was £191 million in 2017 – up 100% from 2016.
  • 8% of all UK equity deals in 2017 were in Scotland
  • 8% of the UK’s angel investors are located in Scotland

British Business Bank activity in Scotland:

  • British Business Bank is an LP for the three largest VC funds in Scotland (SEP, PenTech, and Panoramic) with over £80m invested
  • In 2017/18 the amount of Scottish smaller business finance facilitated by the British Business Bank rose to £467.2m, to over 3,600 businesses.
  • In addition, the Startup Loans programme has issued over 3,300 Startup Loans in Scotland since 2002 (figure from June 2018)
  • Tech incubator CodeBase is a working hand-in-hand with Accelerated Digital Ventures (ADV) – funded by the British Business Bank, Legal & General (L&G) and Woodford Investment Management – to provide scaleup support and space to build world-class digital businesses in Scotland

Download the Infographic


For more information and Scottish smaller business case studies contact:

James Pignon, MHP Communications, +44 20 3128 8755,

Scott Shearer, British Business Bank,

About the British Business Bank

The British Business Bank is the UK government’s 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. Its remit is to design, deliver and efficiently manage UK-wide smaller business access to finance programmes for the UK government.

The British Business Bank is currently supporting almost £5.2bn of finance to nearly 75,000 smaller businesses (as at end of FY 2017/18).

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
  • The new British Business Bank Information Hub provides everything high-growth businesses need to know about their finance options, including 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 them 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 a development bank wholly owned by HM Government which 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, one of which is 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