BGF, the UK and Ireland’s most active investor in growing businesses, has committed £2bn into UK and Irish SMEs.
The landmark capital investment was reached following £7.5m of growth funding for Merseyside-based manufacturer Joloda International.
In 2015, BGF made its first Northern Ireland investment into Derry housebuilder Braidwater. Since then, the investor has backed five companies, deploying more than £35m of growth capital and opened a permanent office in Belfast.
BGF’s Northern Ireland portfolio now includes coffee shop chain Bob & Berts, waste management business RiverRidge, software firm AuditComply and kitchen manufacturer Uform.
Since BGF was first set up in 2011, it has provided growth funding to 285 businesses across every region and almost every sector of the economy. Over 70% of the £2bn has been committed to businesses based outside of London and the South East.
Paddy Graham, Head of Central Scotland and Northern Ireland at BGF, said: “We are proud to have built the UK and Ireland’s most active investor in growing businesses, doing things differently through a regionally-focused funding model which allows us to invest in and support potential over a long-term horizon.
“We have met and backed brilliant and ambitious entrepreneurs across Northern Ireland and the potential of the region is one of the reasons we’ve now set up a permanent base here. We look forward to creating more partnerships in Northern Ireland, supporting motivated companies not only to scale up their own business, but to drive economic activity through increased employment, exports and growth.”
Early this year BGF launched a new campaign, ‘Ready for Business’ – an initiative to see investors confidently advocate for continued growth, committing to entrepreneurs and investing in the age of uncertainty. BGF has delivered on this promise and recognises the need to do even more with a weakening economy and heightened concerns.
Stephen Welton, CEO of BGF, said: “The BGF model is not based on a conventional fund – we are a company, with a strong and liquid balance sheet, set up for long-term investing and long-term growth. This is a core part of our appeal to entrepreneurs, vital in meeting the funding gap for growth companies in Britain and Ireland, and I’m delighted to see our model being embraced and adopted internationally. This is a great example of the UK’s proven leadership in Financial Services, through carefully planned regulatory changes, to deliver a completely new investment model.”
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