Bristol-based BBRC (Bristol & Bath Regional Capital), a dedicated local impact investor, has just made a bold move by deploying £1 million in fresh investments. The focus? Cultivating early-stage impact-driven businesses in the region.
This substantial funding is part of the broader £10 million City Funds investment initiative, which was unveiled in 2019 within the UK's vibrant startup landscape. City Funds is a unique collaborative effort that brings together investment, grant funding, and support from local authorities. The driving forces behind this groundbreaking partnership include BBRC, Quartet Community Foundation, and Bristol City Council.
City Funds is on a mission to bolster local organizations dedicated to tackling some of Bristol's most pressing challenges. These range from housing scarcity and energy efficiency to community well-being. The newly allocated £1 million from this initiative is earmarked for early-stage impact ventures, which often face hurdles in securing crucial investments. The remaining portion of the fund is geared towards more established businesses seeking growth lending opportunities.
Jari Moate, Investment Director at BBRC, emphasizes the significance of City Funds as one of the first initiatives in the UK to blend investment, grant funding, and local authority support in a coordinated, place-based approach. Moate believes that the venture ecosystem in Bristol holds the key to shaping the city's future, and they want impact-driven ventures to play a central role in that transformation. Hence, the decision to allocate £1 million to support early-stage ventures tackling Bristol's most significant social and environmental issues.
Nick Sturge, Chair of techSPARK, an organization working closely with tech and digital businesses in Bristol, lauds BBRC's proactive approach in supporting mission-led and impactful businesses. Sturge acknowledges the historical difficulties that such businesses have faced when seeking funding and pledges to provide ongoing support to this important cause.
City Funds' venture portfolio has already made noteworthy investments in several local purpose-driven ventures. Some standout examples include: