SMALL businesses across the West Midlands can get step forward and get part of an investment fund to help them expand and grow the region’s industries of the future.
The West Midlands Co-Investment Fund, totalling £25m, has been set up by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) in partnership with West Midlands Pension Fund to support small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
Investments will be focussed on businesses with an equity of £1million that offer high-growth potential and the ability to help supercharge the regional economy.
The investment partnership will look to invest in SMEs across a variety of sectors including green technology, advanced manufacturing, life sciences and creative and digital, helping them to scale up operations.
The WMCA is putting £12.5m into the fund and this is being matched by West Midlands Pension Fund (WMPF).
It will be managed by Midven, part of Future Planet Capital, through an investment team.
Operating over a 10-year period, the fund will focus on bringing new private investor money to the region and, using a co-investment model, will invest alongside business angels and other private sector investors on a minimum £1 to £1 basis.
Councillor Milkinder Jaspal, chair of the WMPF Pensions Committee, said: “We’re delighted to support this innovative partnership. The West Midlands Co-Investment Fund will build on the collaboration across the West Midlands and apply globally recognised sustainable investment practices to deliver both commercial return and social benefits.
“It will enable businesses where our members work and live to maximise their potential alongside generating growth to meet future pension benefits. It will support the technological advances we need to transition to net zero and attract further investment into opportunities for driving positive change through innovation.
“As the first fund of its kind, it provides an example of the power of local partnership working together for businesses, jobs and our members across the region.”
The goals of the WM Co-investment fund are closely aligned to the region’s WMCA’s net zero ambitions and to its Plan for Growth which was launched to help the economy in the wake of the pandemic.