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Back to News MEIF Evaluation Report

12th January 2023

Midlands Engine Investment Fund has helped create more than 2,370 jobs in the region, fuelling growth and innovation

  • Two in five backed businesses secured follow-on funding estimated to reach around £65m to fuel further growth
  • Three quarters (74%) launched new products or services contributing to a £73m regional boost from sales
  • 59% of businesses supported by the Midlands Engine Investment Fund say it helped them avoid closure in challenging time
  • MEIF has helped create more than 2,370 jobs in the region since 2017[i]

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) is helping create more jobs, more regional investment, more innovation and new products and services while reducing carbon emissions among small to medium sized businesses across the Midlands.

These are the key findings of an evaluation commissioned by the British Business Bank from independent research consultancy SQW.

Fuelling growth and innovation

Businesses funded by the MEIF have a strong track record of growth, with 41% of those backed going on to secure follow-on funding from other lenders. This additional funding is estimated to be worth around  £65 million.

In a region famed for innovation, the majority of businesses used their funding to launch new products or services. Half (48%) of these were expected to reduce carbon emissions - supporting wider net zero targets.

This focus on innovation has delivered - with more than two thirds (71%) of backed firms recording an increase in sales - resulting in a regional economy boost of nearly £200 million.  Furthermore a third (32%) increased exports as a result of receiving funding.

Three-fifths of businesses supported by investment from the MEIF say it helped them avoid closure during a challenging few years for business. Nine in ten (87%) of the businesses backed by the fund also report being more resilient as a result of its funding.

Innovating jobs

Since launching in 2017, the fund has supported the creation of more than 2,370 jobs across 595 businesses. Almost three quarters (73%) of firms supported by MEIF increased their headcount.

Further cementing the region’s reputation for innovation, a third (33%) of roles created were in R&D (research and development). Four in every ten roles (41%) were in the top 25% of UK salaries (over £37.8k).

Small Business Minister Kevin Hollinrake said:

“This research shows how valuable the government-backed Investment Fund has been to small businesses in the Midlands, especially in terms of business growth, innovation, and jobs.

“Alongside billions of pounds of energy bill and business rates relief, this investment fund is part of the government’s wider support for small British businesses to ensure they succeed and grow.”

Ken Cooper, Managing Director at the British Business Bank, said:

"The aim of the British Business Bank’s regional initiatives is to enable growth across all parts of the UK, and this latest assessment of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund and its impact demonstrates how it is making a positive impact, creating jobs and opportunity for the Midlands. 

“The findings show that Midlands Engine Investment Fund often fulfils a vital role in providing funding to businesses that have the potential to become very successful but which may not otherwise secure investment.  We have seen many of those businesses go on to access further funding which increases our impact supporting more growth, employment and innovation.  There is more to do and Midlands Engine Investment Fund will continue to invest across the Midlands.”

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

To download the full MEIF Evaluation Report, visit here (PDF, 6MB).

Case studies - MEIF investments

The MEIF has invested £200m into the region's businesses, with over 856 investments made since 2017, and 595 businesses supported.

Some recent examples of companies it has provided funding for include:

Name: Maeving

  • Overview: Electric motorcycle innovator
  • Location: Coventry - West Midlands
  • Funding amount: £1m
  • Funding has supported: Recruitment for engineering roles

Name: Watermark Systems

  • Overview: Design and manufacturing service provider which supplies pipework installations for the waste energy industry
  • Location: Derby - East Midlands
  • Funding amount: £250,000
  • Funding has supported: Creation of new job roles

For more information or interviews, please contact the MEIF's media team.

Key findings

  • Funding has helped nine in 10 (87 per cent) of businesses receiving it to become more resilient
  • Just under three-fifths (59 per cent) avoided closure thanks to MEIF funding
  • Almost three-quarters (74 per cent) of businesses introduced new products or services to the market and just under half of these (48 per cent) of those will contribute to lower carbon emissions
  • Almost three-quarters (73 per cent) saw increased headcount and 787 jobs were created
  • A third (33 per cent) of these jobs are in research and development and over 1 in 4 (41 per cent) pay in the top quartile of UK salaries (£37.8k)
  • Over two-thirds (71 per cent) had seen an increase in sales by a cumulative total of £73m
  • 1 in 3 (32 per cent) had increased exports

[i] Job created figure is based on published data as at November 2022, updated since the March 2022 data used when the report was drafted.

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