Cricketers Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes among sports stars backing new £40m business fund

Cricketers Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes among sports stars backing new £40m business fund
Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events

Posted: Tue 22nd Aug 2023

A new £40m venture capital fund, supported by several prominent sportspeople, has been launched.

The Players Fund brings together existing athlete-led investment groups to provide early-stage funding for digital, technology and e-commerce start-ups.

Key figures involved in the initiative are England cricketers Ben Stokes and Stuart Broad, footballers Serge Gnabry, Hector Bellerin and Chris Smalling, and Indian cricket player KL Rahul.

Funding initiatives that The Players Fund merges include 4CAST started by Stokes, Broad and fellow cricketer Jofra Archer; planet friendly investor ForGood set up by Chris Smalling; B-Engaged, which has England's Women's World Cup star Ella Toone among its athletes, and a US-based group headed by former Wimbledon footballer Robbie Earle featuring NBA stars.

Ben Stokes said:

"Since starting 4CAST we have seen huge benefits of athletes and public figures coming together in business and we strongly believe athletes investing together cannot be underestimated.

"By combining our resources, networks and experience, we can achieve so much more collectively than as individuals.

"The Players Fund provides a structured way for athletes to confidently step into early stage investing and to do so alongside teammates and fellow athletes."

Fergus and Ruari Bell, managing partners at The Players Fund, added:

"We're entering a new phase of athlete involvement in enterprise. As athletes seek to better leverage the power of their profile and go beyond endorsement into ownership, the athlete community has been crying out for a trusted destination to invest together into best-in-class start-ups.

"By uniting leading athlete investors and athlete collectives from the UK, EU and India under one roof, we now have that outlet in The Players Fund."

Related Enterprise Nation resources

Small business funding: How to choose the right type for you

Small business funding: How much money should you ask for?

Small business funding: How to use the money you raise

Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events
I'm a freelance journalist and event host who helps small businesses and the organisations that support them. I'm also Enterprise Nation's news reporter and Bristol Local Leader. I have 20 years of experience as a small business journalist having interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs from famous names like Sir Richard Branson and Deborah Meaden to the founders behind brand new start-ups. I've worked for a range of leading small business publications and support groups, most recently as head of content at Enterprise Nation where I was responsible for the prolific output of content on the company's blog and social media. I now freelance for Enterprise Nation as the website's news reporter and as the host of the Small Business sessions podcast. I'm based in Bristol where I run and host regular events with the local small business community in my role as Enterprise Nation's Local Leader for Bristol. I also have strong connections with other major business organisations in the south west region. In total, I've hosted over 100 events including conferences with an audience of hundreds for international brands like Xero and Facebook and live web chats from inside 10 Downing Street. With my partner, I co-run Lifestyle District, a lifestyle blog focused on culture, art, theatre and photography.

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