Over 1,000 established business owners and entrepreneurs in the West Midlands will attend a business support event in Coventry to help expand and scale up their operations.
Business Growth West Midlands (BGWM), a newly established business support service in partnership with the region’s seven local authorities, will help new business access skills, training, and job opportunities. The event, held at Coventry Building Society Arena will offer delegates a comprehensive range of support packages by the new arms-length body.
The event will feature a diverse range of speakers, including industry leaders and successful business owners. The speakers will deliver presentations on relevant topics such as navigating business growth, AI-driven digital transformation, financial management, funding options, and building a skilled workforce.
The initiative, set up by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), is funded by a £42 million investment from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. There is no cost to businesses who take advantage of the support, programmes and events.
Services to help businesses tailor their growth strategy will be delivered by the BGWM locally by the region’s seven local authorities. Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands will address attendees, highlighting BGWM's commitment to promoting business growth in the region.
Mayor Street said: “It’s great to be here to help launch Business Growth West Midlands - funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. BGWM will help businesses right across our region prosper - offering comprehensive support to drive business growth.
“Small and medium sized businesses are central to our regional recovery - creating jobs, fostering innovation and unearthing new markets. That’s why it’s so important we play our part in enabling them to thrive.”
“Whether it’s advice on accessing the right funding or upskilling your workers, businesses can now benefit from our new service. Together, we can ensure business goes from strength to strength here in the West Midlands.
The event joins the West Midlands Combined Authority’s (WMCA) ‘Plan For Growth’ - a path to help the region to pre-pandemic growth. In the decade to 2019, the West Midlands broke through the £100 billion economic output mark as the fastest growing-region outside of London.
The BGWM replaces the previous support provided by Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP), which was funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Bob Sleigh, portfolio lead for finance at the WMCA, and who is also deputy mayor, said: “This historic business event in Coventry is a game-changer for businesses in the West Midlands.
“BGWM offers a unique opportunity for established business owners and entrepreneurs to access invaluable support and resources, all at no cost.” Speaking at the event, Justice Williams, editor in chief of Black Business Magazine, said the launch event represents a “remarkable opportunity”.
She said: “This event is not just about growth; it's about empowerment, collaboration, and transformation. As editor in chief of Black Business Magazine, I'm excited to be part of an event that will help businesses navigate the path to success, leveraging cutting-edge strategies and fostering innovation.
“I want to encourage all businesses especially those from underrepresented backgrounds, women and young people to access the support available.” Another speaker at the event, Kameese Davis, CEO and founder of Nylah’s Naturals, said: "I'm genuinely thrilled by the possibilities that BGWM brings to our region.
“It's a rallying call for collaboration and a lifeline for start-ups facing unique hurdles. My heartfelt appreciation goes to Mayor Street and the WMCA for championing business growth in the region through this awesome initiative.”