UK SMEs are the bedrock of the British economy – accounting for 99% of all private businesses, 60% of private sector employment and a combined turnover of £1.8 trillion in 2015. Yet despite the vital role they play in propelling Britain forward, they are being faced by a £1 billion funding gap which threatens their long-term scalability potential.
Investor sentiment toward British SMEs is clearly high – research by IW Capital recently revealed that 71% of investors with over £40,000 worth of investments are confident in SMEs’ abilities to drive economic growth. To ensure this positive investment sentiment is translated into business investment, IW Capital and sister company Crowdfinders have today launched Race to Scale – a £100 million funding drive dedicated to scale-up Britain.
With 79% of high-growth businesses based outside of London, the primary objective of Race to Scale is to encourage and support the nation’s scale-up community in sustaining growth from start-up into successful mid-size enterprise. The annual initiative aims to power vital development finance into entrepreneurial hotbeds across the UK, with a focus on key cities including Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, London and Manchester.
Race to Scale will enable established businesses across the country to submit business proposals for a share of the £100 million funding pot, comprised of debt and equity finance. The finance is available exclusively to established small to mid-sized enterprises that are proven in concept and require capital to scale, as opposed to start-up funding. Each successful SME will qualify for an investment or loan ranging between £100,000 and £5 million in value.
Testament to the national pool of entrepreneurial that propels our private sector forward, IW Capital is pleased to announce a Manchester-based SME to have secured the first slice of scale-up funding. Incanthera – a revolutionary cancer treatment company – has won an initial £150,000 as part of its current funding raise. Incanthera CEO Simon Ward said: “We are thrilled and very grateful to receive the support and investment given through the Race to Scale project. It is often very difficult for investors other than Institutions and traditional Venture Capital to support small, drug discovery and development companies and Race to Scale allows for this opportunity. The fight against cancer is a long and difficult war and will involve us all. We wish the IW Capital – led initiative every success.”
Committed to the development of pioneering technologies that target solid tumours, Incanthera exists to bridge the funding gap that often inhibits ground-breaking research from translating into a commercially viable product and progressing into a cure for serious diseases.
In addition to the Race to Scale funding pledge, Incanthera is still actively fundraising to support a clinical trial for a groundbreaking drug, dubbed a ‘smart bomb’.
Click here to find out more about ‘Race to Scale’