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Peer2Peer Finance News | May 27, 2019

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Lack of investment infrastructure stifling SME support beyond London

Lack of investment infrastructure stifling SME support beyond London
Marc Shoffman

INVESTORS are keen to put money behind local businesses but are limited by funds mainly being channelled towards London, research claims.

A report by the UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA), focusing on the West Midlands region, found 18 per cent of Birmingham-based investors were actively looking to invest in their local area, but found their advisers instead prioritised London-based small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

A poll of more than 2,000 angel investors, ahead of the launch of the British Business Bank’s £100m Midlands Engine Investment Fund on Wednesday, found 69 per cent invested inside their home region, but only eight per cent of all UK angel investment goes to the West Midlands region.

Respondents complained of a lack of intermediaries focused on the West Midlands, while 20 per cent said they tend to receive London-focused advice despite a third believing there is plenty of entrepreneurial talent beyond the capital.

Read more: London’s digital connectivity is holding back SMEs

Read more: P2P lending soars but SMEs generally wary of finance

Jenny Tooth, chief executive of the UKBAA, blamed this on a lack of resources and infrastructure to invest outside of London.

“There is a lack of infrastructure which means that neither angels or entrepreneurs are visible to each other,” she said.

“The presence of funds is not enough as you have to create an environment where entrepreneurs are investment ready.”

Read more: Growth Street plans to lend £50m to SMEs in the Midlands