The Department for Business and Trade has announced the appointment of Stephen Welton CBE as the new non-executive chair of the British Business Bank.

Welton takes over from Lord Smith of Kelvin, who has held the position for six years since 2017. 

In 2013, Welton was appointed as an advisor to the UK government regarding the establishment of the British Business Bank and, in 2017, served as a member of the Industry Panel advising HM Treasury on the Patient Capital Review. 

He was also a member of the Prime Minister’s 2021 Business Council.

Welton has extensive experience as an investor in private capital markets around the world.  He was the founder CEO of the Business Growth Fund from 2011 to 2020, then executive chair between 2020 and 2022, and later non-executive chair until January 2023. 

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“I have dedicated much of my career to investing in growing companies and backing entrepreneurs and innovators,” said Welton. “I believe passionately that finance is a vital ingredient in helping smaller businesses start up, grow and achieve their ambitions, and to maintaining their enormous contribution to the UK economy nationwide.

“That is why I am delighted to take up my position at the British Business Bank as Chair. This is a pivotal time for the economy as we look to drive innovation and growth, while substantially increasing the level of long term investment in the UK. 

“I look forward to working with the team at the Bank as well as with colleagues in government and the private sector.”

The British Business Bank is the UK government’s economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to drive sustainable growth and prosperity across the UK and to enable the transition to a net zero economy, by improving access to finance for smaller businesses. Its remit is to design, deliver and efficiently manage UK-wide smaller business access to finance programmes for the UK government.

The British Business Bank’s core programmes support over £12.4bn of finance to more than 90,000 small businesses.

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