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£400m regional fund aims to help small businesses thrive

The British Business Bank is launching its £400 million Midlands Engine Investment Fund II, unlocking additional funding to help smaller businesses in the region prosper and thrive.

British Business Bank has launched its £400million Midlands Engine Investment Fund II

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 £2m and equity investments up to £5m 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 440 smaller businesses in the West 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.

Three fund managers have been appointed to manage the fund in the West Midlands. BCRS Business Loans will manage the smaller loans part of the fund (£25,000 to £100,000), Frontier Development Capital will be responsible for larger loans (£100,000 to £2m), and Mercia Ventures will manage equity deals (up to £5m).

Louis Taylor, chief executive of British Business Bank, said: “Small businesses are at the heart of The Midlands’ economy. Since launching in 2017, the first Midlands Engine Investment Fund has so far created more than 4,000 jobs across the region by backing 739 smaller businesses.

“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”.

The bank will be holding a series of information roadshows, including one in Wolverhampton.

To find out more and apply for funding, visit

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