New data from the British Business Bank has revealed that UK smaller companies received a record £8.8 billion of equity investment despite the disruption of both Covid and Brexit. This record growth looks set to continue in 2021 with £4.5 billion invested in the first three months of the year already, while research from IW Capital – a private equity house – reveals that 16% of UK investors are looking to back start-ups and SMEs in 2021.

This investment support comes at a time of record optimism in the SME sector, with three quarters of CEOs expecting overall economic conditions in the UK and Ireland to improve in the next 12 months. The combination of optimism and investment backing could spell a perfect storm for growth in the sector that is so vital to the UK economy. SMEs make up 99.9% of private sector business and employ around 60% of the workforce.

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