02 Apr 2024

£400m investment fund for small businesses by loan provider

BCRS Business Loans Chief Executive Stephen Deakin (second right) with the BCRS Business Development team.JPG

Loan provider BCRS Business Loans engaged with leading representatives of the West Midlands investment community during a roadshow for the new £400m Midlands Engine Investment Fund II (MEIF II) at RAF Cosford.

The team from the Wolverhampton-based community development finance institution (CDFI) promoted the opportunities they are offering to support small businesses during the event staged by British Business Bank to raise awareness of the fund, which was launched to generate growth and employment opportunities across the Midlands.

The event, aimed at smaller businesses, business advisors, accountants, bankers, lawyers, the wider small business support ecosystem and public sector representatives interested in advancing the Midlands’ small business population, was held on Wednesday, March 13.

Business development manager Angie Preece gave a presentation to the audience on the approach to lending by BCRS Business Loans, its successes from the first round of MEIF lending and its criteria for backing SMEs through the new fund.

Angie joined a panel discussion with colleagues from British Business Bank and the other MEIF II investment providers to update the audience on the range of opportunities to support economic growth and back the next generation of entrepreneurs.

The £400 million MEIF II, announced last month, will offer commercial finance options for SMEs. BCRS Business Loans will deliver smaller loans from £25,000 to £100,000, with partners offering debt finance from £100,000 to £2 million and equity investment up to £5m.

The new fund aims to build on the success of the first Midlands Engine Investment Fund and continue to increase the supply and diversity of early-stage finance for smaller business across the whole of the Midlands. The first fund worth £300m has already supported 739 smaller businesses since its launch in 2017.

BCRS Business Loans chief executive Stephen Deakin said: “We were delighted so many colleagues from the Midlands lending and investment community were able to join us at RAF Cosford as we begin to engage with businesses on the opportunities for support from MEIF II.

“At BCRS we say consistently that no viable business should go unsupported so we hope our contacts throughout the region will identify companies who can benefit and introduce our proposition to as many firms as possible.

“Small businesses are recognised as the engine of the local economy, which is why funding like MEIF II is vital to help them thrive so that they can grow, build employment opportunities and make a positive contribution to the region.”

BCRS Business Loans offers loans to SMEs across the West Midlands and Wales who are unable to access finance from traditional sources by providing secure loans from between £10,000 and £150,000 to support growth and recovery plans.

As well being appointed as one of the fund managers for MEIF II, BCRS is a delivery partner for the first £130 million Investment Fund for Wales, which launched in November.

Since BCRS Business Loans was founded in 2002, it has provided loans worth more than £85 million to businesses. A social impact report for the last financial year showed BCRS lent £6.5m to 72 businesses, safeguarding 999 jobs and creating 473 roles, adding £33.7m in value to the economy of the West Midlands and surrounding regions.

Pictured: BCRS Business Loans Chief Executive Stephen Deakin (second right) with the BCRS Business Development team

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