European Commission - Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

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Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF)

Title of measure
Full title in national language:
Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF)
Policy objectives Plus
Presentation of the measure:

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) is a key part of the Midlands Engine Strategy. It aims to transform the finance landscape for smaller businesses in the Midlands and to realise the region’s potential to achieve economic growth through enterprise. As well as providing £250 million of lending and investment to smaller businesses, it will help to develop the business networks and the wider ecosystem that are crucial to achieving long-term prosperity in the Midlands. After a gap analysis undertaken by Regeneris for the EIB and the Department for Communities and Local Government, MEIF decided to offer the following financial instruments in the East- Midlands and West- Midlands regions:

  • Small business loans: provision of microfinance (from £25,000 - £150,000);
  • Later-stage debt: provision of business loans (from £100,000 - £1.5 million);
  • Proof-of-concept: provision of early-stage equity funding (up to £750,000);
  • Equity: provision of equity funding (up to £2 million).
Budget, source and type of funding
National public funds 32,500,000
Regional public funds
EU Structural Funds 92,500,000
Private funds 125,000,00
Form of funding provided
Subsidised loans (including interest allowances)
Venture capital (including subordinated loans)
Policy learning
To what extent the measure can be considered as a success and worthy of policy learning?:
There has been a positive response by beneficiaries to the measure (e.g. over-subscribed in terms of requested versus available budget) but it is too early to judge results or impact
Evidence of outcomes based on evaluation and other evidence:

This measures can boost the entrepreneurship thanks to the support to the birth and the growth of the SMEs. The answer from the final recipients has been good since a lot of SMEs applied to the fund.

What are the most important “Do’s and Don’ts” that regional stakeholders should be aware of when launching a similar measure?:

The regional stakeholders must be sure about the financial gap in the market. The SMEs must face problems in borrowing and/or raising money. Moreover in the target area there could be a good entrepreneurial activity. The things that must be avoided when launching this kind of measure is believing that this without collateral activities (e.g. mentorship) could improve the entrepreneurial spirit in the area.

Would you recommend this measure as an example of regional good practice to policy-makers from other regions ?:
Organisation(s) responsible