The British Business Bank is the UK’s economic development bank. Owned by the government, our mission is to help drive economic growth by making finance markets work better for small businesses – wherever they are in the UK and wherever they are on their business journey – enabling them to prosper and grow. We do this by providing access to finance for small businesses, increasing the diversity of finance on offer to small businesses, being the centre of expertise on small business finance in the UK and identifying and reducing regional imbalances in access to finance for small businesses. The Bank is 100% government owned, but independently managed. This allows us to bring expertise and Government money to the smaller business finance markets. We don’t lend or invest directly but work with over 100 delivery partners such as banks, leasing companies, venture capital funds and web-based platforms that support us in delivering our programmes.
One of these programmes that helps to reduce regional imbalances is the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF). MEIF is a collaboration between the British Business Bank and ten Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in the West Midlands and East and South East Midlands. MEIF is a £250m fund which provides commercially focused finance through Small Business Loans, Debt Finance, Proof of Concept and Equity Finance funds in the LEP areas it works with. It aims to nurture regional entrepreneurships by providing investment and support for small businesses between 2017 and 2022.