D2N2 will work alongside the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) to develop a lasting strategic partnership, it has been announced.
The relationship will focus on encouraging business investment, improving access to finance, and supporting investment readiness amongst our SMEs.
As part of its role in growing the local economy, D2N2 has identified promoting and improving access to finance for the region’s business base as vital to supporting recovery from COVID-19 and stimulating investment and growth of our economy.
Thousands of businesses across the D2N2 region have received financial support via government grants, rate relief, and the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme whilst the British Business Bank has issued over £770m of loans to businesses across the East Midlands.
However, an issue remains with small businesses accessing longer-term structural funding for growth such as equity investment, an issue which has prompted the partnership between D2N2 and ICAEW.
Frank Horsley, D2N2 Head of Business and Innovation noted: “I’m looking forward to a long and fruitful partnership between D2N2 and ICAEW.”
“We recognise that long term financing for small businesses is vital for growth and we have invested in the Midlands Engine Investment Fund via the European Regional Development Fund and working alongside the British Business Bank to stimulate demand.”
“However, more needs to be done to encourage firms to be investment-ready”.
Founded in 1880, ICAEW has a long history of serving the public interest and works with governments, regulators, and business leaders globally.
There are more than 186,500 ICAEW Chartered Accountants and trainees around the world, with almost 15,000 chartered accountants in the Midlands region.
ICAEW’s members are based in a wide variety of organisations across practice, industry, the public sector, charities and beyond.
Dr Sophie Dale-Black, ICAEW’s Regional Director for the Midlands, said: “Raising awareness of investment opportunities among SMEs is critical to their growth, and in turn that of the region – especially in these times of uncertainty.”
“Working with D2N2 gives ICAEW the opportunity to connect chartered accountants with the LEP and Growth Hub, identifying ways of working together for the good of SMEs in the local area through sharing of insight, expertise and understanding.”
Access to Finance
A key element of supporting access finance for growth is to ensure that specialist business support is available and pro-active in engaging businesses.
The D2N2 Growth Hub is reinvigorating its intermediary network to further strengthen the range of support available to firms and will be continuing to work closely with the British Business Bank to ensure uptake of support via the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) and other investment funds.
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In Conversation Event
As part of this new relationship, on 16 October ICAEW will be hosting a free-to-attend event featuring D2N2 Head of Business & Innovation Frank Horsley and D2N2 Growth Hub Manager Chris Pook.
Attendees will be given an overview of the types of financial support available to businesses in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire as well as how ICAEW can help in the local area.
This will include a brief update on the ICAEW Business Advice Service (BAS), where SMEs can secure an initial free of charge consultation with one of over 3,000 registered chartered accountancy firms across the UK.
SMEs can seek advice on a wide range of topics including business finance, cash flow management, growth strategy and restructuring/insolvency.
Businesses interested in the event can sign up by visiting the ICAEW events page.