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A continent changes hands

Europe’s entrepreneurial baby boomers are setting their sights on some ‘quality time’.

We have 24 million SMEs in Europe, many founded or owned by baby boomers who are ready to sell. Around 7 million of these businesses - €27.6 trillion’s-worth – will need to change hands in the next 10 years. (1)

From 2004, European authorities began to release a series of increasingly urgent reports highlighting the scale of that challenge. Back then, just a few of us recognised the opportunity and the risk this ‘Silver Tsunami’ would pose to all involved.

Even in terms of the healthy economy of that period, we knew capacity was lacking, that innovation was urgently needed. Then the credit crunch hit.

SME owners are left with few options. They can go to market with a broker and pursue a trade sale – often a bruising and destructive experience, especially when working with old competitors. They can battle to identify a source of bank debt to support a management buy-out. And if they want to raise growth capital or move to an element of employee ownership while staying at the helm, the opportunities are rarer yet.

Alternatively, they can come to Valloop. We were responding to the megatrend before the credit crunch bit. We moved into ‘Think Tank’ mode in 2010 to develop new ownership frameworks and create new financial products geared towards solving this challenge.

We launched the basic platform in 2015, and it’s proven robust and effective. We’re scaling now to address the urgent challenge SMEs across Europe are facing. We can’t solve the challenge for everyone. But our methodology, our tools, our platform, stand ready to select mature and profitable SMEs to work with, securing prosperity for thousands.

(1) The EU Experts Group – The Markets for Business Transfers report, 2006

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Read more
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Valloop unlocks value with employee-involved buy-out and growth investments for SMEs. Our fund supports sustainable SME performance that delivers fair, socially-inclusive value for all.

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