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Last year over 650,000 new companies were formed, a record for the UK. This is great news for the economy and quite rightly some credit should go to the increasing amount of support in place for start-ups with local accelerator programmes and incubators now common place. However, support for transforming your business from start-up to scale-up is not always so readily available and in particular long term or ‘patient’ assistance is thin on the ground.

The difference between patient capital and traditional forms of finance is effectively all in the name. Providers of patient capital are not looking for a quick return, but happy to wait for their investment to mature over a longer period. This is especially relevant for early stage/growth businesses that may not have the means to repay support straight away, requiring a ‘patient’ funder with a longer term outlook.

The UK government recognise this and kicked off a ‘Patient Capital Review’ earlier this year, to help understand the issues and develop solutions. A key problem is that SME finance is traditionally seen at the riskier end of the market and therefore littered with short term/high yield offerings. However, SMEs are the engine room of the economy for job and wealth creation so access to supportive finance is not just a nice to have, it is essential. We await the outcome of the government’s review with hope and interest.

Here at UKSE we consider ourselves at the forefront of patient capital provision. Why? Well, its starts with the very reason for UKSE’s existence and why we continue to operate to this day. We were established over 40 years ago with the sole remit of helping to regenerate those parts of the UK affected by changes in the steel industry. We continue with the same aim today and will do so in the future. Regeneration requires a long-term strategy and one of the ways we achieve this at UKSE is to provide growing businesses with sympathetic financial support. To date we have assisted over 6,800 businesses to create around 80,000 jobs which has been vital for our local communities. As a not for profit organisation we don’t seek quick or excessive returns, but measure success in terms of businesses helped and job opportunities created.

There are many other factors that distinguish the patient capital offered by UKSE including that:-

• we provide equity finance with absolutely no fixed requirement for exit or associated penalties.

• our portfolio of investments includes clients who we have been supporting for over 20 years.

• any returns we do make from successful investments are ploughed back into supporting other likeminded businesses.

• we only ever require a minority stake in your business and do not want any involvement in the day to day running of the company.

So, if your business is growing and looking to create jobs it may be worth considering patient capital from UKSE to assist you achieve your plans.

Matt Stewart
Author: Matt Stewart
Matt was appointed as Investment Manager in 2013 and is responsible for overseeing UKSE’s investment activities. After working for our parent company as an accountant, he joined UKSE in 2003 and has over 15 years’ experience of assisting businesses realise their growth potential.