AHWL, the family office for the Wilkinson family, is backing British product start-ups and using its Wilkinson Future fund to invest in the upcoming British Design Fund 2. They will also be appointing a board member to join the investment committee.
Jonathan Griffin, Director at AHWL, commented: “We recognise the importance of good design and how it can make the difference between an average business and an outstanding business. The team at the British Design Fund have made this central to their investment philosophy and they also bring the experience and support that these early stage businesses need to succeed.”#
John Mathers, Chairman at the British Design Fund, added: “It is fantastic to have the backing of AHWL. They share our passion for user driven design and bring a wealth of experience across manufacturing, retail and logistics – invaluable to the businesses we invest in and support.’’
The British Design Fund was launched because an important sector in the British economy was being overlooked by early stage investors. Here in the UK we produce some of the world’s leading inventors, designers and product innovators but, despite this heritage, there is a major funding gap for early-stage businesses.
The UK has the 2nd biggest design economy in the world and the largest in Europe. The Creative Industries Federation highlighted this funding gap in their recent 2018 report, “Creative enterprises looking to transition out of their start-up phase have few funding options available to them, in particular there is a gap in the provision of growth funding, from £50,000 to £250,000.”
The British Design Fund believe that now is a great time to invest in a part of our economy that hugely contributes to our growth and employment. One in eight UK businesses are creative enterprises generating over £100 billion GVA to our economy.
And when we talk about design we are talking about purpose driven design, design with the user at the very heart of the business.
Our world was already facing some serious challenges before Covid-19, with climate change topping the agenda of what most concerned consumers and business owners alike. In the UK we also have a unique challenge around our departure from the EU and how our economy will adapt and compete moving forward. And of course we have a rapidly aging population. All of these challenges create unique user needs, specific problems which innovative businesses in the UK are well placed to address.
The upcoming British Design Fund 2 will be backing these great British product businesses and giving them the funding and support that they need to succeed.
The British Design Fund 2 is open to additional investors until the end of July.
For further information or additional comment please email British Design Fund CEO, Damon Bonser: firstname.lastname@example.org