Barclays Launches High Growth, Entrepreneur Drive

Amisha Mehta Assistant Editor London 11 November 2015

Barclays Launches High Growth, Entrepreneur Drive

The British banking giant is kick-starting a new initiative to help the UK's high growth businesses.

Barclays has announced a new drive, with a 50-strong team of high growth and entrepreneur relationship directors, to support UK "scale-ups" - or high-growth businesses - and their founders.

The new proposition, "Barclays High Growth and Entrepreneurs", will support businesses from the start-up phase, through scaling up, to IPO. The bank said it comes in response to Britain’s "scale up gap", and will help the UK's global competitiveness. Indeed, the scale-up sector is estimated to have created over 230,000 jobs in the UK last year, according to the Centre for Economics & Business Research.

The drive, which was launched by the chief executive of Barclays Personal and Corporate Banking, Ashok Vaswani, will be headed up by Richard Heggie as Barclays’ head of high growth and entrepreneurs.

“No other UK institution can offer this end-to-end support and through our newly created relationship team we are providing access to a range of innovative funding, services and networks for the most ambitious businesses driving economic growth,” said Heggie.

“Our ambition is for the UK to fully compete with Silicon Valley to attract and retain the most revolutionary businesses.”

The dedicated team of 50 has been created in addition to the bank's 13 specialist high growth credit sanctioners, who will support the lending needs of high growth businesses. Barclays has also launched two funds totalling £150 million ($227 million) to help innovative companies under Barclays’ High Growth Venture Debt Fund and InnovFin finance.

“It’s imperative that the financial system in the UK is able to fully back brave entrepreneurs who create jobs and unlock new growth. Barclays financed the world’s first steam railway in 1819, which went on to bring about the industrial revolution. By giving expert support to today’s entrepreneurs we can help the UK to win in the digital revolution. We want to be the financial partner for high-growth firms and the people behind them – giving them support across every step of their journey,” said Vaswani.

Barclays added that is exploring how it can potentially use space in its premises for early stage scale-up companies to co-locate, collaborate with peers and get expert advice.

Register for WealthBriefing today

Gain access to regular and exclusive research on the global wealth management sector along with the opportunity to attend industry events such as exclusive invites to Breakfast Briefings and Summits in the major wealth management centres and industry leading awards programmes