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Head of the Scottish Investment Bank, Kerry Sharp, reflects on an impressive year for Scotland's risk capital market and our investments.

Kerry Sharp is Head of the Scottish Investment Bank

It's often said that records are made to be broken and that's certainly been the case if you take a look at recent trends in Scotland’s risk capital market.

As the risk capital market reached new heights, we at the Scottish Investment Bank have doubled our investment and helped more companies to access the finance they need to realise their growth plans.

This included a record level of investment through our Renewable Energy Investment Fund. The Fund supports marine energy, community renewables and lower cost energy projects, potential bringing long term benefits to Scotland and bringing us closer to our ambition of delivering on the opportunities associated with a low carbon economy.

More than money

I strongly believe – like many others – that it is not just about money. The key to success is getting the balance right between increasing the availability of growth capital and supporting companies in effectively accessing funding, combined with business support to help companies achieve their growth ambitions.

Across Scottish Enterprise we enable companies to successfully innovate, commercialise and enter international markets, and to connect with experienced investors that can add value to their business. Collaborative working in conjunction with the expertise of our private investor partners helps us to increase the value and breadth of support that we can provide to our portfolio companies.

The key to success is getting the balance right between increasing the availability of growth capital and supporting companies in effectively accessing funding, combined with business support to help companies achieve their growth ambitions.

Kerry Sharp, Head of the Scottish Investment Bank

Our support often begins well before any investment decision, with our Financial Readiness team helping to ensure that businesses are well informed about their options and are prepared to go on to raise the growth finance they need. Or with our High Growth Ventures team supporting the creation of new companies and helping them to build effective management teams.

We work with businesses with global ambitions across all stages of development, from start up through to established businesses preparing to expand their international reach.

Market activity gives us a clear indication that there is increased demand for us to invest alongside more private investors.

Enhancing our offering

A highlight for me last year was speaking with our investment partners and businesses to review what has worked well, and what we could improve, so that together we could make enhancements to the way we deliver our co-investment activity.

This was the basis for widening our fund parameters and increasing flexibility to allow us to co-invest alongside more private sector investors and support more Scottish businesses.

We'll continue to review how we can best respond to market demand and invest alongside an increasingly diverse range of co-investors, who will bring expertise, skills and connections that will help support Scottish businesses to increase their global competitiveness.

I hope you enjoy reflecting back on the year with us through our annual highlights for 2014-2015.

Scottish Investment Bank annual review 2014-2015

As always, myself or the Scottish Investment Bank team would be delighted to hear any feedback on our activities.

Contact the Scottish Investment Bank

Find out more about the Scottish Investment Bank

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