Fund to support small businesses launches in the West Midlands

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) Debt Funds (including Small Business Loans) were officially launched in August 2017, with further Equity Funds being released in due course.

MEIF is a collaboration between the government-owned British Business Bank and ten Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in the West Midlands and East & South East Midlands and provides commercially-focused finance to help SMEs start up and grow. It combines £250m of funding from the UK Government, European Regional Development Fund, British Business Bank and European Investment Bank to help businesses in the region to scale-up and become a successful part of the government’s Midlands Engine vision.

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund aims to produce greater levels of investment, increase the focus on the potential opportunities across the Midlands Engine regions and provide increased flexibility in the type of funding provided. Together these will contribute to better economic outcomes for the regions’ businesses, growth and jobs.

The British Business Bank is investing £32.5m of its own capital into MEIF, which is being matched by an additional £32.5m from the European Investment Bank. Bringing allocations together into larger funds allows more resources to be targeted at businesses with growth potential across a wider area, with economies of scale meaning more money can be invested directly in smaller businesses.

The British Business Bank has worked with LEPs from the West Midlands and East & South East Midlands, and with the Department for Communities and Local Government to aggregate the European Regional Development Fund money they receive for the LEP areas into a combined fund which addresses gaps in access to finance identified by local areas funds.

Part of the MEIF (debt funds) was officially launched in August 2017 with more equity funds to follow.

You can find out more about MEIF, including the funds available (debt finance, small business loans, proof of concept and equity finance), news, case studies and upcoming events on the new MEIF website.