It’s not just about the money for Scotland’s ambitious SMEs.
Securing investment is a major milestone for many ambitious companies looking to take their business to the next stage of growth, but it is not just about the money.
Gaining support throughout the fund raising journey is critical for companies, before they embark on an initial fund raising, during the fund raising stage and post investment – support available from investors can be just as important as the money itself.
For companies thinking beyond the fund raising milestone, there are opportunities to work closely with their investors and other sources of invaluable support, which can include help to gain access to new markets, access to key contacts and critical sector insight and expertise.
Identify your finance options
The key starting point for businesses looking for funding and non-financial support is to identify the right finance for their business. Knowing where to start can be daunting for some.
Part of the remit of the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, is to ensure that Scottish businesses know who to approach and are in the best shape possible to raise the investment they need to grow.
We focus on ensuring that SMEs can identify the most appropriate finance for their needs and are well prepared to successfully access these funds. This includes support and guidance to help companies to identify, source and raise the right growth funding from the right funder for their business through our financial readiness service.
The financial readiness team’s guiding principle is to improve the coordination and awareness of the availability of financial support and guidance. In doing so, it contributes to the single door approach to economic development with signposting to other areas of Scottish Enterprise and partner organisations.
We know that businesses that proactively seek guidance and support when looking to fund raise are more likely to secure funding that is right for their needs. In 2016-2017 the Scottish Investment Bank’s financial readiness team engaged with over 700 companies and provided intensive support to 452 companies to get ready to raise finance.
How we can help
Bird.i, based in Glasgow, was introduced to our financial readiness team by Scottish Development International. The company is developing an exciting product to supply Earth observation data by means of wider, more cost effective, access to satellite imaging and artificial intelligence.
Our financial readiness team was called into action when the company was considering relocating to Scotland and was very interested in learning more about the strength of the Scottish funding market and our approach in support of high growth companies.
Our team introduced the company to the Scottish Venture Fund that resulted in an agreement for £50,000 of seed funding as part of a £500,000 package including a Scottish Enterprise SMART:Scotland grant of £100,000. The team is continuing to work with Bird.i to the company to realise their ambitious growth plans here in Scotland.
Another of the companies that benefited from this support was Incremental Group, who help government and industry to digitally transform their business. Support from our financial readiness team helped the company’s management consider the available funding options. This support helped the company raise investment from Maven Capital Partners alongside co-investment from the Scottish Investment Bank.
Incremental Group has also received account management support from Scottish Enterprise, and benefitted from a Regional Selective Assistance Grant. This support and investment will allow the company to continue their ambitious plans to grow revenues beyond £20 million. Up to 140 jobs are planned as part of this exciting growth phase.
Post investment, our portfolio managers continue to work alongside our partner investors to help companies to grow. This additional support includes our work to strengthen management teams through the appointment of experienced and well connected non-executive directors.
There is also a wealth of support available from Scottish Enterprise that many of our portfolio companies benefit from, including help to commercialise new products, entrepreneurial development, leadership development, innovation and support to internationalise your business. Many of the companies that we work with benefit from being account managed by Scottish Enterprise and the dedicated support this provides to help deliver their growth aspirations.
Strong investor community
Scotland is benefitting from an increasingly diverse and strong investor community who bring their network and experience to the table during and after investment. For the many companies taking up the offer of additional support, there is an increasing recognition that this can make the difference between success and failure.
Find out more about the support available to raise finance or the other support available from Scottish Enterprise:
Explore your funding options