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Skills4Stem

Partner:ELEM

Region:East & South East Mids

Location:Bedford

A SPECIALIST training organisation for professionals in the construction and built environment has received a significant boost to its ambitious plans for expansion, thanks to Enterprise Loans East Midlands (ELEM) and finance from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF), supported by the European Regional Development Fund.

Skills4Stem is a global training provider with a particular focus on providing relevant and up-to-date skills within the science, technology, engineering and mathematics sectors (STEM) as well as specialist expertise within construction and the built environment. The organisation was established in March 2014 by founder Sarah Davis after she noticed a gap in the market for delivering a blend of technical, leadership and management training to mature learners, led by experienced practitioners with real-world sector expertise.

Sarah Davies, chief executive officer at Skills4Stem, said:

“We first heard about MEIF at a SEMLEP event near the end of 2017 which was ideal timing for us as we had won a prime contract earlier that year which accredited us to the same status as universities and FE colleges. Although we are a highly reputable organisation, as an SME we are limited in the budget we can allocate to marketing our services. The MEIF funding we have been provided with will go a significant way in our plans for expansion, allowing us to communicate with business across the UK about our services.

“We’re really optimistic about our future as an organisation. The current political landscape for training providers has led to several exciting opportunities arising in the marketplace to offer training to those in STEM-focussed roles, especially aged 21 and over.

“With that in mind, and as one of the few organisations accredited to deliver these exacting workplace training requirements, there’s a real window of opportunity for us to embark on a rapid growth trajectory meaning we are able support more learners across the UK gain academic qualifications that can complement the skills they already have.”

Through Enterprise Loans – the fund manager responsible for the delivery of the MEIF Small Business Loans fund in the East and South East Midlands – Skills4Stem has been supplied with £50,000 in funding.

Stefan Nycz, business advisor at Enterprise Loans East Midlands, said:

Skills4Stem has established a real niche in the market and having now established a consistent, relevant and quality product, the team are more than ready to attract more customers - especially from the B2B sector - and grow its offering.

Sarah is totally committed to her business and I have no doubt that it will grow rapidly over the coming months and years. We’re pleased to have supported Skills4Stem on the next phase of its life cycle and look forward to seeing its exciting expansion plans come to fruition.”

Lewis Stringer, senior relationship manager at the British Business Bank, said:

“It’s great to hear that Sarah and her team discovered the MEIF through attendance at one of our joint events with the LEP. It shows the importance of our collaboration and that the outreach programmes undertaken by the British Business Bank across the region are an important part of driving awareness to smaller businesses.”

“STEM subjects and their associated careers present opportunity for UK economic growth and to be able to support this business can only be a positive for the MEIF initiative.”

Malcolm Johnston, Growth Hub Manager at South East Midlands LEP, said:

“SEMLEP is delighted to have played a part in bringing the MEIF project to the attention of Sarah and her team at Skills4Stem. Training in STEM subjects is becoming increasingly important to economic growth in this area and especially amongst businesses operating in our key sectors including High Performance Technology, engineering and food and drink manufacturing. It is great to see that the Midlands Engine Investment Funds are providing access to funding for local businesses like Skills4stem with the ambition and drive to grow.”

The MEIF project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the ERDF as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

For more information on Enterprise Loans visit www.first-enterprise.co.uk or follow @1st_Enterprise on Twitter. For further information on the MEIF please visit www.meif.co.uk or follow @MidsEngInv.

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If you would like to meet with one of MEIF's appointed Fund Managers to talk in more detail please go to Funds Available to find the Fund Managers operating in your area

Small Business Loans

£25k – £150k

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debt finance

Debt Finance

£100k – £1.5m

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equity finance

Equity Finance

£50k – £2m

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Proof of Concept

Up to £750,000

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