The Enterprise Capital Funds programme

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Enterprise Capital Funds (ECFs) combine private and public money to make equity investments in high growth businesses. Our ECF programme aims to increase the supply of equity to UK growth companies and to lower the barriers to entry for fund managers looking to operate in the VC market.

The British Business Bank invests alongside venture capital funds on terms that improve the outcome for private investors when those funds are successful.

We do this to encourage venture capital funds to operate in a part of the market where smaller businesses are not able to access the growth capital they need.

Enterprise Capital Funds are managed by experienced fund managers from a variety of backgrounds – including teams from the venture capital industry as well as serial entrepreneurs with a history of success in building early stage UK companies.

We operate a rolling investment programme for commitments to new Enterprise Capital Funds.


Our ECF guidance and Draft Partnership Agreement help applicants to understand more about the British Business Bank investment process and whether or not their plans fit with the programme.

Download the ECF Guidance

Download the Draft Partnership Agreement

If you are a business looking for equity investment, please note that this programme is about helping to establish funds.

If you are looking for equity funding, you will need to approach the funds’ managers directly through our scale up pages accessible through the homepage.

We held seminars for prospective fund managers in February 2016. You can download the presentation below.

Download the ECF Seminar Presentation, February 2016

Read more about Sussex Place Ventures’ experience of working with us a partner in our Enterprise Capital Funds programme.

ECF Performance

  • Since inception, over £946m (including third party) has been committed through the Enterprise Capital Funds programme, including £551.5m from the British Business Bank (as at end Jan 2017).
  • Over £482m of funding has been drawn, including £283.7m from the British Business Bank (as at end Jan 2017).
  • The ECF programme is a significant part of the UK venture capital industry, with 23 funds facilitating finance to305 SMEs (as at end Sept 2016).

Latest ECF News

We helped four new funds reach their first close over the last quarter of 2016. We committed:

  • £50m to the £150m ADV fund, which will provide evergreen, patient capital to smaller businesses via a network of digital technology hubs across the regions (November).
  • £30m to the £50m (target final close of £50m to £80m) Seraphim Space Fund, which will be the world’s largest ever, early-stage, space-sector, venture fund (November).
  • £26m to Entrepreneur First’s £40m Next Stage tech fund, which will provide tech start ups with funding alongside mentoring from top entrepreneurs (September).
  • £24m to the £40m Active PE fund, which will invest in consumer-focused scale-ups (September).

The business finance guide - English version - guide to finance options    The business finance guide - Welsh version - guide to finance options
The English and Welsh language editions of the Business Finance Guide are downloadable from the Guide’s dedicated website. This resource also contains videos and additional content about finance options, including equity finance.

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