Contractors working through umbrella companies in the world of IT contracting could find a surfeit of new opportunities opening up, thanks to new private sector funding for emerging firms specialising in software-as-a-service (SaaS) and cloud computing.

The additional money – all £62.9 million of it – will come from the country’s largest Enterprise Capital Fund, Notion Capital, and will be targeted at creating jobs, including contractor roles.

Government ministers, who are backing the cash injection to help these firms expand and recruit new staff, say that substantial commitments from government, private investors and the European Investment Fund has made it possible. Mark Prisk, the Business and Enterprise Minister, said:

“It is absolutely vital that ambitious small firms can access the finance they need to expand and grow, and this new Enterprise Capital Fund will provide at least £40 million of funding to viable UK high-tech businesses. Notion Capital is the largest Enterprise Capital Fund to date and will help a significant number of firms to grow and create jobs, boosting our economy.”

This may just be the beginning: the Government plans to distribute a total of £200 million through the Enterprise Capital Fund programme over the four years to 2014-15.

Capital for Enterprise Limited’s CEO, Rory Earley, said that his organisation was “very impressed” with the Notion Capital team’s extensive operational and entrepreneurial experience, which they deploy to enhance the businesses they invest in.

Meanwhile, IT contractors in Scotland may want to turn their attention to Edinburgh, where cloud computing firm enStratus has confirmed that it will opening an office by 2014 and will need 30 highly skilled IT staff to run it.

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