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Surge in equity investment into region’s smaller businesses as VC deals increase

Small businesses in the East of England have seen a surge in equity investment over the past year as the number of deals has increased and the region has attracted a growing number of venture capital investors.

The value of equity invested in small firms in the region rose to £751 million over the first nine months of 2021, a 73 per cent increase on the period a year earlier and more than the £595m seen in all of 2020. Meanwhile, figures in the British Business Bank’s Small Business Finance Markets 2021/22 report also show that deal numbers in the East rose by 22 per cent and the region attracted 6 per cent of all UK equity investment deals in the first three quarters of last year.

Nationally, £14 billion was invested in smaller businesses in the period, a rise of 130 per cent on the previous year. The bank says that the number of local venture capital investors in the East of England has doubled over the last four years to 66.

Steve Conibear, UK network director, South and East of England at the British Business, said: “As smaller businesses in the East of England look to recovery and growth following an incredibly challenging economic period, external finance will continue to play a critical role. Regional gaps in growth finance are undoubtedly holding back our ambitious entrepreneurs and economic opportunity.”

 

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