September 7th, 2018.

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 provided to over 3,600 businesses. In addition, over 3,300 new businesses have used the Bank’s start-up loans programme as they started out on their enterprise journey.

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.”