Edge opens £40m SME fund to end “funding drought” in UK’s creative sector

On 13 November, White Star Capital, which was founded by a former Facebook director, launched a $70m fund to support tech developments across Europe and the US.

However, the Edge Creative Enterprise Fund will be looking for creative firms with potent commercial intellectual property to create value for the economy.

Indeed, it’s designed with growth in mind to “nurture” the innovative entrepreneurs helming the companies. Capital will be backed by mentoring to maximise the creativity being churned out of the sector, which accounts for ten per cent of the British economy and 2.55m jobs overall.

In addition to “significant investment” from the government’s British Business Bank, a number of organisations and private investors have also contributed to the £40m fund, which will focus on SMEs. The target is a minimum ROI of three times.

Read more on the British creative industry:

Ken Cooper, MD, venture capital solutions at British Business Bank, said: “This is the first fund specifically focused on the creative industries backed by the British Business Bank.

“We look forward to working with Edge Investments, which has extensive experience in this sector and a proven track record. The creative industry is of increasing importance to the wider UK economy and we are particularly pleased that this fund will ensure these high-growth businesses have access to the finance they need to scale.”

The film industry is a fine example of a creative sector that is thriving. Pinewood Studio admitted it is “unable to meet all the demand from large films” having housed James Bond film Spectre and Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. But while the site is being expanded, turning away business shows there is a need for the sector to have additional support.

Elsewhere, Boris John is championing the “creativity and enterprise of Londoners” and provided a £285,000 fund for 20 community projects in September.

David Glick, Edge Investments’ CEO, added: “The creative industries are one of the UK’s great success stories, an area where Britain excels. Our view is that a high degree of sector knowledge mitigates risk and also allows us to assess the most promising opportunities and most talented executives.

“There are nearly 160,000 creative industries businesses in Britain yet despite being in this high growth sector, many of them find it difficult to attract adequate capital to maximise their potential. Our new Edge Creative Enterprise Fund aims to fill that funding gap.”

Image: Shutterstock

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