Funding boost for specialist training organisation

29 August 2018

A specialist training organisation for professionals in the construction and built environment sectors has secured funding support for its expansion plans.

Skills4Stem is a training provider with a particular focus on providing skills within the science, technology, engineering and mathematics sectors (STEM) as well as specialist expertise within construction and the built environment.

The Bedford-based organisation, which was established in March 2014 by founder Sarah Davis, has secured support from Enterprise Loans East Midlands (ELEM) and finance from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF), backed by the European Regional Development Fund.

Sarah Davis, chief executive at Skills4Stem, said: “We first heard about MEIF at a SEMLEP event near the end of 2017 which was ideal timing for us as we had won a prime contract earlier that year which accredited us to the same status as universities and FE colleges.

“Although we are a highly reputable organisation, as an SME we are limited in the budget we can allocate to marketing our services.

“The MEIF funding we have been provided with will go a significant way in our plans for expansion, allowing us to communicate with business across the UK about our services.”

Through Enterprise Loans – the fund manager responsible for the MEIF Small Business Loans fund in the East and South East Midlands – Skills4Stem has been supplied with £50,000 in funding.

Stefan Nycz, business adviser at Enterprise Loans East Midlands, said: “Skills4Stem has established a real niche in the market and having now established a consistent, relevant and quality product, the team are more than ready to attract more customers – especially from the B2B sector – and grow its offering.”

The MEIF project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the ERDF as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

Lewis Stringer, senior relationship manager at the British Business Bank, said: “It’s great to hear that Sarah and her team discovered the MEIF through attendance at one of our joint events with the LEP.

“It shows the importance of our collaboration and that the outreach programmes undertaken by the British Business Bank across the region are an important part of driving awareness to smaller businesses.”

Malcolm Johnston, Growth Hub manager at South East Midlands LEP, said: “Training in STEM subjects is becoming increasingly important to economic growth in this area and especially amongst businesses operating in our key sectors including high performance technology, engineering and food and drink manufacturing.”