CFE issues joint letter to the Chancellor on corporate venturing

Today we are calling on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to use his Autumn Statement to incentivise larger firms to unlock their balance sheets and invest in SMEs through corporate venturing.

Corporates sit on a vast amount of wealth, with a reported £488 billion in cash reserves. Despite this, many dynamic smaller businesses find it hard to get access to finance and sound knowledge to support their growth plans. It therefore makes sense to incentivise corporates – which have money and connections – to invest and help the small businesses needing money and expertise.

At present only the largest corporates tend to invest in smaller businesses and many firms in the mid-market who may see the strategic benefits of such corporate venturing are not incentivised to do so.

There is an opportunity to double corporate venturing in the UK in the same way that the government’s EIS scheme has doubled business angel investors since 2011. We encourage the Chancellor to explore the options for achieving this.

Luke Johnson, Chairman, Centre for Entrepreneurs & Risk Capital Partners
Scott Barnes, CEO, Grant Thornton
Guy Rigby, Partner, Smith & Williamson
Tim Hames, Director General, BVCA
Simon Walker, Director General, Institute of Directors
Nida Broughton, Chief Economist, Social Market Foundation