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Browne Jacobson leads on new Access to Finance portal for SMEs

6 March 2015

Today (March 6th) BPS Birmingham, the organisation representing the regions business professional and financial services sector, along with the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) and law firm Browne Jacobson has launched a new website which aims to help SMEs to find the right pathway to potential funding.

As the economy continues to recover the challenge for SMEs to access finance, whether it is for equity finance, debt-financing or grant funding, remains a major issue for owner managers in whichever sector they operate.

Identifying and securing finance can be complex and hard to navigate and the process is often time consuming and utilising resource that very often SMEs dont have at their disposal.

At the heart of the new portal is the aim to simplify the process for SMEs to raise finance by providing local businesses with the information that they need to assist them in the pursuit of finance. The website clearly segments potential funders into areas of specialism and expertise. For 70 finance providers registered on the site, it provides a vehicle through which they can connect with local business and make the local market aware of finance offerings which will help them develop and grow their activities.

Beyond simply signposting potential funders, the website also provides explanations and tips to users to explain the different types of finance potentially available to them and the stage of their business at which they might be most relevant.

Paul Ray, Browne Jacobsons Head of Banking & Finance has been a lead member of the project and launched the new website today with GBSLEP Chairman Andy Street (MD of John Lewis). Paul also sits on the Access to Finance sub-group of GBSLEP.

Commenting on the launch of the website Paul Ray said:

"This initiative is evidence of Browne Jacobsons commitment to the business communities within which it operates.

"The world of finance is complex and difficult to navigate and access to finance remains one of the biggest challenges for SMEs.

"Ive been delighted to use my and Browne Jacobsons market knowledge and contacts to add real value to this project.

"This has included introducing a number of the funders who are featured on the website.

"I am sure that they and businesses in the region will get real value from this."

Andy Street, Chairman of the GBSLEP added;

"The launch of the Access to Finance website provides a very useful tool for SMEs needing assistance with raising funding and this new initiative shows how the GBSLEP and its partners can support the work of other business organisations in the region.

"Together we are working towards a common goal of improving opportunities for businesses of all sizes who are operating in a wide variety of sectors in our area, which in turn will lead to us achieving our increased economic growth and job creation targets.

"In addition, the portal will form an integral part of the GBSLEPs new Business Growth Hub that we will be launching later this year, which will provide an invaluable centralised information and support resource across a range of topics for businesses in the area."

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