Launch of Midlands Engine Investment Fund II unlocks millions in funding for smaller businesses

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund II will deliver a £400m commitment of new funding for smaller businesses
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The British Business Bank is launching its £400 million Midlands Engine Investment Fund II today, unlocking additional funding to help smaller businesses in Northamptonshire prosper and thrive.

The fund will drive sustainable economic growth by supporting new and growing businesses across the whole of the Midlands, through investment strategies that best meet the needs of these firms. It includes a range of finance options with loans from £25,000 to £2 million and equity investments up to £5 million to help small and medium-sized businesses start up, scale up or stay ahead.

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund II aims to build on the success of the inaugural Midlands Engine Investment Fund), a £300m fund which has already supported 299 smaller businesses in the East and South East Midlands since its launch in 2017. The new fund will help hundreds more businesses to achieve their potential and further increase the supply and diversity of early-stage finance by providing options to firms that might otherwise be unable to secure investment. Funding is designed to help businesses with activities including expansion, product or service innovation, new processes, skills development, and capital equipment.

Rachael Robertson, Founder, Bedew SkinRachael Robertson, Founder, Bedew Skin
Rachael Robertson, Founder, Bedew Skin

Three fund managers have been appointed to manage the fund in the East and South East Midlands. First Enterprise - Enterprise Loans will manage the smaller loans part of the fund (£25,000 to £100,000), Maven Capital Partners will be responsible for larger loans (£100,000 to £2 million), and Mercia Ventures will manage equity deals (up to £5 million).

Louis Taylor, Chief Executive Officer, British Business Bank said “The Midlands is the heartland of UK small business. Since launching in 2017, the first Midlands Engine Investment Fund has so far created over 1,400 jobs across the East and South East Midlands - boosting the whole region’s productivity by 70%.

“The first Midlands Engine Investment Fund provided a blueprint for how we can support entrepreneurs and founders, whoever they are and wherever they are in the region, to access the funds and support they need. This new fund will allow us to continue supporting business owners across the Midlands, whether they’re at the start of their journey or are already running an established firm.

“Promoting growth by ensuring entrepreneurs can access the finance they need regardless of where and who they are is one of the Bank’s strategic objectives, and vital to unlocking the full potential of the UK’s smaller businesses.”

Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Gareth Davies MP said: “Small businesses are the engine of the economy, which is why having access to funding like this is vital to help them thrive and grow, creating jobs and spreading opportunity everywhere.

“As the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, the Midlands propelled the UK into a new era of technological and economic growth and now the next generation of entrepreneurs will have the support they need to continue this success”.

Northamptonshire-based skincare brand, Bedew Skin, benefited from funding via the Midlands Engine Investment Fund funding to support its aim of helping people achieve healthier and more radiant skin. The cruelty-free range is available to suit all skin types and prioritises visible results over fragrance without the need for a complex routine.

The funding allowed Bedew Skin to renovate a new store, improve the packaging for the mini products range, and supported with the release of four new products.

Rachael Robertson, Founder, Bedew Skin, said: “The inspiration for Bedew Skin came from my own struggles with my home skincare routine, and was further ignited by the goal of wanting to help as many people as possible to love their skin.

“After the initial launch, I was helped to further grow my business thanks to the Midlands Engine Investment Fund funding as well as the support from my local fund manager team who were able to provide guidance on my business plan and future financial aspects.”

Following today’s launch, the British Business Bank will be holding a series of information roadshows aimed at people working with smaller businesses including enterprise agencies, advisors, accountants, law firms and more. The first of these sessions will be held in Lincoln on 11th March 2024, with additional sessions held in Leicester, Wolverhampton, and Coventry, with further locations planned for April and May 2024.

To find out more and apply for funding, visit: www.midlandsengineinvestmentfund.co.uk

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