New funding opportunities for Midland’s SME’s
As many SME owners have found since the financial crisis of 10 years ago, the ability to access funding in the sub £2m space has been difficult, with the traditional high street lenders appearing reluctant to support businesses with unsecured lines of credit and only a few equity players at this level. A number of ABL lenders and a handful of new challenger banks have tried to fill this space but many businesses have still struggled to secure the cash to help them accelerate their growth plans.
Consequently, launched in February 2018, the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) is a new £250m finance provider offering debt and equity funding to the Midland’s SME community. A collaboration between the government-owned British Business Bank and ten Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP’s being voluntary partnerships between local authorities and businesses tasked with leading economic growth in their local areas) across the West, East and South Midlands, its aim is to support and boost the growth of businesses who may be struggling to raise the required level of funding from some of the more traditional high street lenders.
Investments are to be made through four funds which can invest into all sectors excluding property development, ship building and agriculture.
- Equity finance £50k – £2m
- Debt finance £100k – £1.5m
- Proof-of-concept Up to £750k
- Small business loans £25k – £150k
In order to access these funds companies are expected to be able to demonstrate strong business plans and the ability to generate returns on the investment. Assay have strong relationships with the fund managers looking after the equity and debt finance pots and would be happy to meet with any owners who have struggled to raise finance elsewhere and require a supportive partner to navigate this process.