Small businesses are the backbone of the economy and we are here to help.

Supporting UK firms and founders

We invest in small businesses and help them scale significantly. The average year-on-year growth rate of our businesses during our period of co-ownership is 61%, compared with c. 25% before our involvement. On average, companies we invest in are 4x bigger on exit than when we invested, and some are >10x bigger.

A typical investment for us is a growing business with 20-100 employees at the time we get involved, scaled to a much larger, profitable business with >200 employees just five years later. We have achieved this time and time again.

Small businesses are the backbone of the economy in terms of job creation, economic growth, innovation and diversity. But it’s not easy and we can help. Small businesses in every sector are much more vulnerable to deterioration and have fewer resources to draw on.  In fact, less than a half of start-ups globally survive for more than five years.

Why we need to act

The problem is worse in the UK than elsewhere. The UK is 3rd in the world for start-ups but 13th in the world for scale-ups. Too many businesses stumble or plateau during their scale up phase. Studies by Enterprise Research have shown that only 6% of UK companies with more than 10 employees at the start of a 3 year period grow at more than 20% per annum over that period, and only 2% of start-ups grow to a revenue of over £1 million by the end of the 3 years. The UK has over 600k start-ups but only 30k scale-ups per year – the other 95% plateau or disappear.

Why is this? Scaling a small business is tough. It’s when a business goes through most change, both growing in revenues and growing up at the same time. This is the stage when it transitions from the founder pulling every lever to a well-rounded management team, when processes are professionalised, when systems are installed, and when the product or service is made scalable. Missteps in any of these areas can take all the wind out of the sails.

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