Midlands Engine Investment Fund has helped create more than 2,370 jobs
The Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) is helping create more jobs, more regional investment, more innovation and new products and services while reducing carbon emissions among small to medium sized businesses across the Midlands.
These are the key findings of an evaluation commissioned by the British Business Bank from independent research consultancy SQW.
Fuelling growth and innovation
Businesses funded by the MEIF have a strong track record of growth, with 41% of those backed going on to secure follow-on funding from other lenders. This additional funding is estimated to be worth around £65m.
In a region famed for innovation, the majority of businesses used their funding to launch new products or services. Half (48%) of these were expected to reduce carbon emissions – supporting wider net zero targets.
This focus on innovation has delivered – with more than two thirds (71%) of backed firms recording an increase in sales – resulting in a regional economy boost of nearly £200m. Furthermore a third (32%) increased exports as a result of receiving funding.
Three-fifths of businesses supported by investment from the MEIF say it helped them avoid closure during a challenging few years for business. Nine in ten (87%) of the businesses backed by the fund also report being more resilient as a result of its funding.
Since launching in 2017, the fund has supported the creation of more than 2,370 jobs across 595 businesses. Almost three quarters (73%) of firms supported by MEIF increased their headcount.
Further cementing the region’s reputation for innovation, a third (33%) of roles created were in R&D (research and development). Four in every ten roles (41%) were in the top 25% of UK salaries (over £37.8k).
Small business minister Kevin Hollinrake said: “This research shows how valuable the government-backed Investment Fund has been to small businesses in the Midlands, especially in terms of business growth, innovation, and jobs.
“Alongside billions of pounds of energy bill and business rates relief, this investment fund is part of the government’s wider support for small British businesses to ensure they succeed and grow.”
Ken Cooper, managing director at the British Business Bank, said: “The aim of the British Business Bank’s regional initiatives is to enable growth across all parts of the UK, and this latest assessment of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund and its impact demonstrates how it is making a positive impact, creating jobs and opportunity for the Midlands.
The findings show that Midlands Engine Investment Fund often fulfils a vital role in providing funding to businesses that have the potential to become very successful but which may not otherwise secure investment. We have seen many of those businesses go on to access further funding which increases our impact supporting more growth, employment and innovation. There is more to do and Midlands Engine Investment Fund will continue to invest across the Midlands.”
The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.
To download the full MEIF Evaluation Report, visit link (PDF, 7MB).