New entity could help British companies access markets

An entity aimed at helping British companies expand globally and access new markets has been formed by British Private Equity & Venture Capital (BVCA) Association and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI).

According to a statement, Britain is the European centre for venture capital yet the funding environment remains challenging for many UK-based entrepreneurs.

With this formal alliance, the BVCA and the UKTI, through its newly established Venture Capital Unit, will work with the venture community to help British companies expand globally and access new markets.

The agreement was signed by Mark Florman, chief executive of the BVCA, and Nick Baird, chief executive of UKTI, at Lancaster House in London.

Areas of focus include supporting companies to engage with potential investors; encouraging overseas private equity and venture capital firms to open UK offices; promoting the UK private equity and venture capital industry to international pension and sovereign wealth funds; and promoting government initiatives, such as Tech City.

Florman said: ‘This alliance is the culmination of work lasting more than a year to link the BVCA formally to UKTI.

‘It is an extremely important development for venture capital as it connects our sector with the UKTI’s network of embassies and consulates throughout the world. This is an alliance that could be invaluable on matters ranging from fundraising overseas, particularly sovereign wealth funds, to the promotion of homegrown venture capital-backed start-ups.’

Trade and investment minister Lord Green said: ‘The government is committed to making Britain the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business. It is essential that entrepreneurs have access to the right funding to turn their ideas into succesful companies.

‘Through this agreement, UKTI and the BVCA will work closely together to promote the UK as an international centre for venture capital, highlight the successes of UK companies and engage with overseas investors.’