Today, the British Fashion Council (BFC) and London-based venture capital firm Venrex announce their investment fund Venrex BFC Fashion I to support the growth of the business eco-system in the fashion sector.The BFC�s mission is to strengthen British fashion globally as a leader in responsible creative businesses. Partnering on a fund is a key part of the BFC�s strategy to enable a vibrant business ecosystem in the fashion sector, by now providing access to finance for seed, early stage, or growth stage for a broad range of businesses.The Investment Fund was a key recommendation following an Investors Roundtable co-hosted by the BFC and Sian Westerman, Non-Executive Director, in 2019, which concluded that multiple funding models exist for different types of businesses and that there are many opportunities to develop businesses who are at the intersection of creativity, innovation and commerce. Highly creative businesses should not necessarily be pushed to high growth but can benefit from talent identification schemes and programmes.The Fund marries the BFC�s network, unique convening power and ability to engage with leading creative talent with Venrex�s long-standing track record in identifying winning businesses. From a BFC perspective, this partnership serves to diversify its revenue streams. The BFC will receive fees and a portion of the carry, which as a not-for-profit it will use to reinvest in fashion education and talent programmes.Businesses within the BFC ecosystem beyond the BFC Network will be able to apply for investment by the Venrex BFC Fashion I.Mark Esiri commented: �We are thrilled to be working with the BFC on this initiative to partner with what we hope can be some of the UK�s highest growth fashion-related businesses.� Our experience as investors in brands such as Orlebar Brown, ME + EM and Charlotte Tilbury, and technology/marketplace businesses such as Lyst and Knitregen have shown us that the UK creative sectors and their entrepreneurs are world class.� While not all fashion start-ups will suit Venture Capital�s high growth business models, we feel that this fund will complement the already significant leadership role that the BFC plays in a hugely impactful UK industry. This is an opportunity for investors to shape the brands of the future and leaders of tomorrow.�
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