Wbg urges SMEs to seek professional advice ahead of British Business Bank £150m investment fund launch

Wbg, Accountants and Business Advisers, is urging SME business owners to seek professional financial advice ahead of British Business Bank launching a £150m Scottish investment fund.

Preparing to launch this summer to support the growth of Scottish SMEs, the Investment Fund for Scotland will become the latest in a series of region-specific investment funds from the British Business Bank, a state-owned investment bank for small and medium enterprises.

The new fund will offer both debt financing – in the form of loans ranging from £25,000 to £2m – and equity investments of up to £5m. Gerald McLaughlin, Head of Corporate Finance at Wbg, suggests that this funding level is particularly apt for many Scottish SMEs.

“As the British Business Bank notes, Scotland’s overall levels of equity investment and private debt lending remain much lower than its share of the UK’s small business population.

“With the exception of specific Covid related loans, funding at the £25,000 to £2m range has been scarce so I think that this debt financing is well placed for many Scottish SMEs, particularly those focusing on increasing productivity, innovation and jobs.

“The availability of equity investment at the sub-£5m level should also provide opportunities for smaller businesses projecting high growth.”

Mr McLaughlin urges business owners to seek professional financial advice early because a formal business plan and integrated financial projections, backed by solid management information by way of detailed up to date management accounts, will be a prerequisite to access such funding.

“While I’m aware that many SMEs do not presently produce such detailed accounts within their standard reporting package, for those seeking any kind of financial investment, it is good housekeeping to have detailed accounts at hand to examine the viability of growth plans at the outset of the application process,” he said.

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