§ Mr. Wills
The Government are concerned to ensure that small businesses have access to sources of finance which are appropriate to their needs. The private sector is primarily responsible for designing and delivering finance products to small business and successfully meets their needs in the vast majority of cases. I am aware, however, that some small businesses have faced difficulties in raising the right finance. In particular, there can be problems in securing debt finance where a business has no track record or available security and in raising venture capital in small amounts. We therefore announced, in the Competitiveness White Paper (Cmd 4176), the creation of the Enterprise Fund. As well as continuing to fund the Small Firms Loan Guarantee Scheme, this Fund will also act to stimulate the availability of venture capital for smaller, growing businesses.
In addition, we are working with the key players in the informal investment or "business angel" markets to stimulate the availability of venture capital from individual investors.