The former boss of a £2 million fund backed by Advantage West Midlands and Birmingham City Council has launched her own finance consultancy.

Alison Bradley was until last year chief executive of The Arrow Fund, a loan guarantee scheme designed to fill a gap in the market for small loans.

But since its closure, she has struck out on her own and set up consultancy Central Business Development.

The new company aims to help small firms find finance through a range of funding opportunities including banks, the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme and regional funding.

Ms Bradley said: “We acknowledge that finance can be more difficult to arrange in the present climate - so business owners and new businesses will need the services of finance specialists even more so.

“Those that are starting up and in certain sectors will find it incredibly difficult to raise business finance.

“Our uniqueness is that we work with a vast range of lenders, banks included, but also utilise an array of private and public sector schemes to create a package of finance to make the deal work.”

Ms Bradley said the new firm had got off to a flying start in its first month.

“Within our first few weeks of trading we have been successful in securing a grant of £200,000 for a bakery in Staffordshire which will create 20 jobs,” she said.

“So even though finance may be more difficult to obtain, with the right people working on a proposal then a business need not struggle on without the money to develop.”

The Arrow Fund, which was also supported by Lloyds TSB, was one of the first business support bodies to fall victim to regional public sector spending cuts last year.

It offered loans of between £1,000 to £10,000 to help people go self-employed or expand their small business who had been refused a bank loan or overdraft.