A new report from the British Business Bank has found that the markets conditions are ripe for the North West to see record levels of equity investment in 2022.
The British Business Bank this week published results of its eighth annual Small Business Finance Market 2021/22 survey which found the investment value of equity deals was 275% up in the first three quarters of 2021 in the North West compared to the equivalent period of 2020. Equity investment in the first three quarters of 2021 was worth more than double the previous year’s figure for the North West.
The British Business Bank report also found there was strong appetite from small businesses to use finance to grow, with 32% of survey respondents indicating they would be happy to do so. The number of investors now involved in venture capital investing in the region nearly doubling from 27 in 2017 to 49 in 2021.
Additionally, the report found that in 2021 almost half (47%) of smaller businesses viewed reducing their carbon emissions or environmental impact to be a priority for their business and one in five (22%) would use external finance to help transition their business to net zero. Just over one in 10 (11%) of smaller businesses have already used external finance to support net zero actions. In contrast, almost three quarters of smaller businesses (71%) viewed maintaining or increasing sales to be a high priority.
Sophie Dale Black, UK Network Director for the North at the British Business Bank, said:
“The findings of this year’s Small Business Finance Markets report in the North West are really encouraging. Not only are we seeing the region’s resilience, but there is a clear appetite for growth as seen by the stellar increase in equity investment which is set to have seen a record year in 2021.
“There is work to be done, continuing to break down barriers to access to finance remains key to levelling up economic opportunity. Through our programmes, the British Business Bank will continue to support the country’s smaller businesses by improving access and options to secure external finance.”