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8th March 2022

British Business Bank’s regional equity funds sign up to Investing in Women Code

The Equity Fund Managers from the British Business Bank’s regional funds – the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF), the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) and the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund (CIOSIF) have all become signatories of the Investing in Women Code, a commitment by financial services firms to improve female entrepreneurs’ access to tools, resource and finance from the financial services sector.

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund’s (MEIF) dedicated equity fund managers Foresight Group, Midven and Mercia Asset Management, that lead delivery of the MEIF Equity Finance and Proof of Concept funds across the Midlands have all committed to the Code.

Launched by HM Treasury, the Code commits organisations to promoting female entrepreneurship by having a nominated member of the senior leadership team who will be responsible for supporting equality in access to finance. It also increases the transparency of financial services firms’ data concerning support for female entrepreneurs and encourages adoption of internal practices to improve the outlook for female entrepreneurs.

Catherine Lewis La Torre, CEO at the British Business Bank, said: The Investing in Women Code represents a commitment to advancing female entrepreneurship in the United Kingdom. It sets out clear objectives and guidance to signatories and its progress is reported on annually. It is designed to drive a more diverse and inclusive business ecosystem which is beneficial to customers, entrepreneurs, businesses, investors and society.

“At the British Business Bank our goal is to break down barriers for entrepreneurs who face challenges in accessing the finance they need to prosper and grow. Our regional equity funds are brilliant examples of what can be done. The Bank is working with a large number of female founders forming part of an inclusive network of like minded entrepreneurs and investment partners, helping to bridge what was once a significant gender gap.”

Sandy Reid, Deputy Fund Principal at Mercia Asset Management, said “At Mercia we work hard to find the best businesses in the Midlands to invest in and I strongly believe that must include businesses with diverse management teams.  Whilst being signatories to the Investing in Women Code is a strong signal of our intent – the proof is in the fantastic women led businesses in our MEIF portfolio which includes, but isn’t limited to, ebate and Corrosion Radar.  These two businesses show what driven and passionate women can achieve in the tech space when given access to the right investment.”

e-bate and CorrosionRADAR are two female-led businesses to have received investment support from the MEIF. Both Midlands-based SMEs specialising in the technology sector, e-bate is a management solution e-platform provider, while CorrosionRADAR develops technology for detecting and predicting corrosion in pipelines.

Leanne Bonner-Cooke, Founder and CEO at e-bate Limited said:

“It is fantastic to see the MEIF empower female entrepreneurs by providing improved access to finance. Its proof of concept fund has been integral to the roll-out of our e-bate platform, with a 800% increase in customer base since receiving funding in 2019. We look forward to seeing how the British Business Bank, and its regional funds, will continue to champion women-led businesses and enable them to upskill, grow and innovate.

Chiraz Ennaceur, Founder and CEO of CorrosionRADAR, added: "Early stage funding through the MEIF has enabled CorrosionRADAR to expand our global client base and boost overseas sales. It’s good to see the funds commitment to supporting female entrepreneurs in the technology sector "

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