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Boost for West Midlands Manufacturers as Investment Readiness Programme Launches

by Anna

A significant investment readiness initiative is set to empower hundreds of small to medium-sized manufacturers (SMEs) across Birmingham, the Black Country, and Solihull. The program, launched by Business Growth West Midlands and delivered by Oxford Innovation Advice, leverages over £1 million from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) to provide comprehensive support to manufacturing SMEs seeking to enhance their financial acumen and secure external funding.

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The Investment Readiness program will cover various aspects of business finance, including debt and asset finance, grant funding opportunities, equity, and the increasingly popular crowdfunding route. The initiative aims to demystify the world of business finance for manufacturers, addressing challenges related to capital financing and facilitating growth.

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Paul Edwards, Head of Economic Development and Delivery at the West Midlands Combined Authority, highlighted the challenges faced by manufacturers in securing capital financing for growth and expressed excitement about the potential impact of the program on the region’s businesses.

Jane Galsworthy, Managing Director of Oxford Innovation Advice, emphasized the importance of providing tailored support to SMEs, stating, “Access to Finance is all about supporting small to medium businesses to improve their financial skills and become investment ready. We are positive that this tailored approach will bring sustainable and positive results for SMEs and the economic growth of our region.”

The program, supported by a team of finance specialists with extensive experience in unlocking funding and aiding firms in their growth, will utilize a combination of workshops, masterclasses, and one-to-one mentoring sessions. Additionally, participants will have access to bespoke online resources focusing on key measures, financial forecasting, cash flow needs, and creating pitch decks to attract potential investors.

The Investment Readiness program consists of two stages. The first involves engaging businesses and providing information and advice on finance, while the second stage focuses on one-to-one support to develop specific requirements such as investment pitches, financial forecasts, and identifying different funding routes.

The program is poised to drive regional economic growth by significantly enhancing the ability of start-ups, high-growth SMEs, and scale-ups to secure external investment. The finance specialists delivering the program bring firsthand experience and a diverse range of funding sources, including debt, loans, equity, and crowdfunding.

Jane Galsworthy emphasized the program’s specific focus on giving SMEs in Birmingham, the Black Country, and Solihull bespoke support to access finance and become investment ready. The initiative is expected to play a pivotal role in ensuring small businesses in the region have better control of their finances, making strong applications for funding opportunities and fostering long-term success for manufacturers.

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