Starting, building and expanding a prosperous business is an ambition of many entrepreneurs and companies, and is one of the most important sources of job creation.
Getting a company off the ground and/or expanding it requires money, and raising the right kind of finance is still a major difficulty for SMEs. The lack of capital is a barrier to growth that can rarely be overcome by recourse to family, friends, business angels or banks.
Private equity (and venture capital) is an increasingly important source of finance for European high-growth potential companies.
The goal of private equity and venture capital is to help more businesses achieve their ambitions for growth providing them with finance, strategic advice and information at critical stages of their development.
Although overall awareness of private equity and venture capital has improved in recent years, there is still a lack of information that, together with the fear of relinquishing control through the exchange of shares for cash flow, hampers those companies to call on private equity and venture capital.
According to European Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (EVCA)’s data, 80% of the entrepreneurs who approached private equity and venture capital investors welcomed the improvement in their business activities and in their budgetary and financial monitoring. In a similar vein, the investors' experience and network of contacts were also very positive elements. Furthermore, having private equity and venture capital investors provided companies with more credibility with their clients, suppliers, banks and competitors. This is particularly true for start-ups, which assets are often intangible and which have to provide numerous guarantees.