An Angel Hub is to be opened in Birmingham to help combat the problem of entrepreneurs being unable to access investment.
The vast majority of equity investment is concentrated towards London and the South East and the dearth of funding poses a significant threat to the progression of start-ups and scale-ups across the regions. This is especially true in Birmingham.
Today the British Business Bank launches a £100 million Midlands Engine Investment Fund – and the UK Business Angels Association is also presenting its new report on the regional funding disparity affecting the Midlands Engine area.
It quizzed 2004 respondents nationally and found an overwhelming desire among investors to invest into their local entrepreneurs but also a frustration that the available infrastructure consistently channels the funding to London instead.
With 18 per cent of Birmingham-based investors actively looking to invest in their local area, but finding their advisors instead prioritising London-based SMEs, there is a clear need to boost the availability of advice and investment infrastructure across the Midlands Engine area.
“There is a lack of infrastructure which means that neither angels or entrepreneurs are visible to each other,” said Jenny Tooth, CEO of the UKBAA.
“The presence of funds is not enough as you have to create an environment where entrepreneurs are investment ready.
“Alongside our landmark investment summit on the 20th March, the UKBAA will also be announcing the opening of an Angel Hub in Birmingham to provide a focal point for angel investors of all levels to connect with each other.
“It will also provide an opportunity to see some of the innovative and creative local businesses, who will have an opportunity to pitch to the angels.
“We will continue to help entrepreneurs to be investment-ready, how to pitch and present effectively.”
The UKBAA is the leading not-for-profit organisation representing the views and interests of the national angel investment community.
The report found that 69 per cent of angel investors invest inside their home region, but only eight per cent of all UK angel investment goes to the West Midlands area.
It also found that 20 per cent of Birmingham-based investors receive London-focused advice, prioritising SMEs in the capital over entrepreneurs in their own backyard, while 18 per cent want to invest in their local businesses but are held back by infrastructure and education concerns.