New £400m investment fund launches for small businesses in the Midlands

New £400m investment fund launches for small businesses in the Midlands
Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events

Posted: Thu 29th Feb 2024

The British Business Bank has unveiled the £400m Midlands Engine Investment Fund II, its latest initiative to boost access to finance to smaller businesses in regions around the UK.

The fund provides loans from £25,000 to £2m and equity investments up to £5m to small and medium-sized businesses in the Midlands. It follows on from the £300m Midlands Engine Investment Fund has supported 739 smaller businesses since its launch in 2017.

The funding is aimed at increasing the supply and diversity of early-stage finance by providing options to firms that might otherwise be unable to secure investment.

Five fund managers have been appointed to manage the fund. BCRS Business Loans and First Enterprise – Enterprise Loans manages the £25,000 to £100,000 loans, Frontier Development Capital and Maven Capital Partners are responsible for loans from £100,000 to £2m and Mercia Ventures is managing equity deals up to £5m.

Louis Taylor, CEO 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."

Gareth Davies, exchequer secretary to the Treasury, added:

"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 Midlands Engine Investment Fund II is one of several funds from the British Business Bank aimed at evening up regional disparities when it comes to accessing business finance.

It follows the launch of £200m for firms in South West England, a £150m scheme for Scottish businesses, the £70m Investment Fund for Northern Ireland and a £130m initiative for Welsh businesses.

A £660m fund for firms in Northern England is due to open for applications later this year.

Related Enterprise Nation resources

Enterprise Nation Funding Hub

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

Small business funding: How to use the money you raise

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

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.

You might also like…

Get business support right to your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive business tips, learn about new funding programmes, join upcoming events, take e-learning courses, and more.