A new web portal has been launched as part of a drive to make it easier for Midland SMEs to access funding.
The website has been launched jointly by BPS Birmingham, the organisation representing the region’s business professional and financial services sector, and the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership.
Members of the region’s business community gathered at Shoosmiths for the launch of the web portal and heard from BPS chair Alex Bishop and GBSLEP chairman Andy Street.
The aim of the new portal is to simplify the process for SMEs to raise finance by providing businesses with the information they need to assist them in securing finance.
The website segments potential funders into areas of specialism and expertise. For 70 finance providers registered on the site, it provides a vehicle through which they can connect with businesses and make them aware of finance offerings.
It also provides explanations and tips to users to explain the different types of finance potentially available to them and the stage of their business at which they might be most relevant.
The initiative has been led by two senior representatives from within the city’s professional sector, Adam Smith from business advisory firm Deloitte, and Paul Ray at law firm Browne Jacobson, who have been working in partnership with financial experts at the GBSLEP.
Mr Smith said: “In the depths of the recession and now during this recovery phase access to finance remains one of the biggest challenges for SMEs.
“The world of finance is complicated and difficult to navigate and as the representative body of the business professional and financial services sector, BPS Birmingham thought that we should be putting our collective skill and influence behind finding ways to alleviate the problem facing local SMEs.
“I am thrilled that after much planning and discussion and by working with our partners in the finance marketplace and the GBSLEP we have been able to create and launch this website.
“I hope that SMEs will use the portal and that they will find it a useful pathway to gaining funding for their future growth.”
Andy Street, chairman of the GBSLEP, added: “The launch of the access to finance website provides a very useful tool for SMEs needing assistance with raising funding and this new initiative shows how the GBSLEP and its partners can support the work of other business organisations in the region.
“Together we are working towards a common goal of improving opportunities for businesses of all sizes who are operating in a wide variety of sectors in our area, which in turn will lead to us achieving our increased economic growth and job creation targets.
“In addition, the portal will form an integral part of the GBSLEP’s new Business Growth Hub that we will be launching later this year, which will provide an invaluable centralised information and support resource across a range of topics for businesses in the area.”