Midlands Engine Investment Fund launches £100 million equity fund

Launch is latest wave of £250 million Midlands Engine Investment Fund.

The British Business Bank has launched a further wave of its £250 million Midlands Engine Investment Fund with up to £100 million of equity finance to be made available to small businesses across the West, East and South-East Midlands. Working with the region’s ten Local Enterprise Partnerships, fund managers, and the business community, the new funding will broaden the funding options and opportunities available to Midlands businesses.

Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, Housing Secretary and Ministerial Champion for the Midlands Engine, said: “The Midlands Engine already boasts over 14 per cent of the UK’s high-growth businesses and its economy is worth more than £230 billion – larger than countries like Denmark. We want to harness its huge potential and help give small firms across the Midlands that much needed boost to grow their business.

“Ensuring every part of the UK can play to its strengths and spread prosperity is central to our Industrial Strategy, and this fund will not only generate jobs to benefit the entire Midlands but, ultimately, the British economy.”

Patrick Magee, Chief Commercial Officer, British Business Bank, added: “On Tuesday the British Business Bank’s Small Business Finance Market report revealed significant regional imbalances in the supply of equity finance across the UK. We believe there is a major opportunity to increase the supply of equity finance in the Midlands, and to enhance the growth ecosystem. The British Business Bank already supplies £1.2 billion of finance to Midlands businesses and the Midlands Engine Investment Fund will provide more in the most needed areas.

“The launch of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund’s equity finance will help to grow the region’s access to funds to support its economic potential and collective talent. I encourage Midlands businesses looking to take the next step in their growth journey to connect with our three Fund Managers to see how equity finance could benefit them.”

Jonathan Taylor, Vice President of the European Investment Bank, commented: “This exciting new initiative will enable companies across the Midlands to expand, create new jobs and harness business opportunities. The European Investment Bank is pleased to support the new Midlands Engine Investment Fund that follows the proven success of regional funds elsewhere in the UK and across Europe to provide new investment that addresses the specific financing needs of local firms.”

Commenting on the news, Pat Hanlon, Chair of the GBSLEP’s Access to Finance group (pictured), said: “The launch of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund represents a significant opportunity for local businesses to access a share of £250 million in financial support. This Fund is a highly valuable resource for SMEs that want to develop and grow – and businesses across Greater Birmingham and Solihull should make the most of it.

“Supporting the Fund is an important aspect of GBSLEP’s commitment to its business and innovation priorities; in particular, strengthening the region’s provision of business support and access to finance. Opening up new streams of funding to local firms is critical in encouraging our large numbers of start-ups to scale up their operations and create new employment opportunities –supporting the wider economic growth of Greater Birmingham and Solihull in the process.”

Following the launch, the Midlands Engine Investment Fund and its network of Local Enterprise Partnerships are to host ten events across the West, East and South-East Midlands. The events will provide intermediary advisers with the opportunity to learn more about the funding available, its potential uses and, most importantly, how to apply. For more information on these events visit here

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund will invest in equity finance through appointed Fund Managers:

· Midven Ltd will operate a Venture fund focusing on the West Midlands

· Foresight Group LLP, will run a similar fund focused on the East & South-East Midlands

· Mercia Technologies PLC will run a Proof of Concept and Early Stage Equity fund addressing the whole of the Midlands.

The equity funds will join the £120m of Loan funds launched in August 2017. These are made up of:

Small Business Loans Funds operated in the West Midlands by BCRS Business Loans Ltd and in the East & South East Midlands by Enterprise Loans East Midlands Ltd and a larger Debt Finance fund operated across the whole of the Midlands by Maven Capital Partners UK LLP. For more information on the funding available, visit www.meif.co.uk