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Rowlands Review leads to SMEfund

PRIME Minister Gordon Brown yesterday backed the launch of a new public fund to provide debt and equity to small and medium sized businesses trapped in a &ldquo;gap for finance.&rdquo;<br /><br />Brown said the Growth Capital Fund follows the review headed by Chris Rowlands, a former executive at 3i, who said that due to structural market failures and global financial turmoil a &ldquo;permanent gap exists for firms looking for between &pound;2m-&pound;10m in growth capital&rdquo;. <br /><br />Rowlands said that neither bank lending nor equity investors are likely to fill the gap in the foreseeable future.<br /><br />The CBI?welcomed the proposal and said: &ldquo;These firms will help pull the UK out of recession, and generate jobs and investment if they can access the vital capital they need to grow.&rdquo;