A fund which invests in businesses across the Midlands have surpassed the £100 million milestone.
Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) has made 481 investments into small businesses since 2018 after being set up by the government-owned British Business Bank.
As a result of its activities, an additional £90 million of private sector capital has been leveraged and 809 new jobs created, according to data published today by the fund.
Manufacturing has been the most active sector supported by the MEIF, with 113 investments totalling £21 million, while other key sectors to have received capital include medical technologies, life sciences, transport and sustainable energy.
The MEIF offers loans and other finance products between £25,000 to £2 million.
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Midlands Engine chairman Sir John Peace said: “The resilience and agility of our regional economy is strongly linked to the significant population of SMEs in the Midlands.
“They are the lifeblood of our region’s creative ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit but SMEs in particular have felt the full brunt of the challenges of the last 12 months.
“Now, more than ever, they need confidence, clarity and certainty about the future, along with access to finance, to help them grow and realise their potential. This £100 million milestone of investment in our SMEs shows how powerful the Midlands Engine Investment Fund has been.
“Demand has been consistently strong and its impact has been high, enabling firms to improve workforce skills, increase R&D investments and move many more products towards commercialisation.”
Patrick Magee, chief commercial officer at the British Business Bank, added: “The fund was set up to address a market gap in the finance available to small businesses in the region.
“Access to finance can be critical in enabling businesses to explore new opportunities and expand. Without it, business growth stalls.”