Stirling looks to boost tech growth with ESM investment

The fund will be used to boost the tech sector in Stirling. Picture: Donald MacDonald
The fund will be used to boost the tech sector in Stirling. Picture: Donald MacDonald
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The first investment fund of its kind is to be showcased next week in Stirling.

Stirling Council will join ESM Investments at an event on 23 Friday at the Codebase offices in the city.

The collaborative £25 million ESM Capital Growth Enterprise Investment Scheme Fund is being set up to support “innovative growth and scale-up technology orientated companies” across Stirling, Scotland and the north of England.

The ten-year fund is expected to launch later this year with a five-year “investment period” in a series of businesses followed by a five-year “maturity period” where the values of the stakes, at that point, will be realised and delivered to investors.

The initial target of £25m is sought from a mix of private and public-sector investors, and will include investment from the ESM Investments syndicate, led by founder and chief executive Steven Morris.

The fund will subsequently look to make investments of between £500,000 and £2m in a series of “strongly managed dynamic technology enterprises” that may be struggling to access capital for further development.

Morris said: “It is clear that many viable, dynamic enterprises with innovative products and services, strong business plans and capable management teams, struggle to access the investment that will allow them to develop their businesses.

“Bridging the equity gap for early to growth stage technology companies is a major challenge to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship.

“The fund will seek to address just that as well as giving investors the prospect of attractive long-term returns from businesses that hopefully will flourish with their support.

“We have already had several strong notes of interest in our plans and really look forward to presenting further details to additional investors.”