The Active Enterprise Capital Fund (ECF) is intended to help rapid growth among founder-led businesses in the UK consumer economy that are looking to scale rapidly.
Active will partner with UK entrepreneurs at any stage in the lifecycle of their business provided there is exciting potential for growth. Typically, it focuses on growth stage businesses that are facing the critical transition from adolescence to maturity.
The scheme can invest as little as £500,000 or as much as £15 million over the life of an investment. The funder always seeks to take at least a significant minority share to ensure it is in a position to actively contribute to an accelerated growth trajectory.
Before You Start
The Small Business Minister has announced this new Enterprise Capital Fund, supported with £26 million from the Government-backed British Business Bank. Enterprise Capital Funds combine private and public money to make equity investments in high growth businesses.
The Active Enterprise Capital Fund (ECF) programme has a total budget of £40 million, specifically intended to help rapid growth business scale-up. Active Private Equity, which specialises in helping consumer-focused businesses grow their brands and build the infrastructure needed to scale up successfully, will run the fund.
Active invests where there is potential for rapid growth, and the new Active ECF will focus on early-stage founder-led businesses, in the following areas:
- Sector Focus: Active focuses on innovative, growth businesses in the branded consumer, leisure and retail space. Sectors of interest include food and hospitality, wellbeing, health, education, sport/fitness, outdoor, travel, fashion, media and entertainment, online media and eCommerce, and other consumer technologies.
- Investment Stage: Active partners with great entrepreneurs at any stage in the lifecycle of their business provided there is exciting potential for growth. Typically, they focus on growth stage businesses that are facing the critical transition from adolescence to maturity.
- Partnership Approach: Active invests in founder-led businesses. Where needed, they support entrepreneurs, define strategy, and build the operational infrastructure, structural rigour, and resource capabilities required to rapidly scale. They can invest as little as £1 million or as much as £15 million over the life of an investment, and seek to take at least a significant minority share so they are in a better position to contribute actively to an accelerated growth trajectory.
Although there are no specific exclusions cited within the programme guidelines, those wishing to apply are advised to liaise with the funding provider in the first instance to discuss eligibility.
What You Need To Know
Active focuses exclusively on founder-led businesses in the UK consumer economy, looking to scale rapidly. Active partners with innovative entrepreneurs in the consumer, leisure and retail spaces.
Businesses looking for equity investment should note that this programme is about helping to establish funds.
Those looking for equity funding will need to approach the funds’ managers directly through its scale up pages accessible through website.
Match funding is not a stipulated requirement of this programme.
The funder helps accelerate growth in promising young companies. It provides flexible capital which enables these businesses to quickly build upon their initial success and develop into widely recognised brands.
How To Apply
Support can be accessed at any time.
Frequency: Rolling programme.
Link to guidelines:
Further advice and assistance with submitting an application may be sought directly from the funder.