Help to Grow Scheme – Bridging the Gap!
12 February 2015 by Marketing Team
It’s that time again, as the general election creeps ever closer the political parties start to scramble around to think of bright new initiatives to entice us to put a cross in THEIR box. The thing that always surprises me is why only now do the parties come up with these ideas and not any other time over the past four years… some, more cynical than me of course, would say it all a little too convenient! Anyway this blog is not about political parties and their underlying tactics; it is actually to look at one of the bright new initiatives… the Help to Grow Scheme.
The Help to Grow scheme was announced this week by the Prime Minister David Cameron as an initiative to help fast growing and successful businesses to secure financial funding in order to avoid, the valley of death, funding gap. If you were a teenager in the 90’s the valley of death may remind you more of the classic Coolio song than a business dilemma. However, it has been identified by the government that many fast growing companies are struggling to find finance to enable them to move to the next stage of their development and unlock their potential. The funding gap is creating too much of a leap for small-scale businesses to achieve their ambition of becoming medium-sized.
So how will the scheme work and who will finance it?
The scheme will offer 500 firms each year the opportunity to receive financial support delivered through the new British Business Bank. The funding will provide firms with the confidence that they have sufficient working capital to take on new orders, complete them, and continue to grow. It is also hoped that such a scheme will boost UK employment levels, as according to David Cameron, 45% of UK job growth last year was generated by medium-sized firms, and so put simply: the more medium size businesses there are, the more jobs created.
The bank will be financed predominately by the private sector with the government guaranteeing the loans provided or by co-investing along side the private sector. History has shown us many examples of the government relying on the private sector for funding initiatives, let’s not all forget the private finance initiative. I just hope the stigma surrounding that does not attach itself to this “bright new scheme”; we will have to wait and see.
Whether the Help to Grow scheme is a success or not, I think the UK should be proud of itself. The scheme is a symbol of the entrepreneurship evident in our society today. Statistics show that of Europe’s 25 million small and medium sized firms, over five million are in the UK and this is continuing to grow so, well done United Kingdom.