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Promoting and Representing

A core part of BPS Birmingham Leaders is promoting and representing the Business Professional and Financial services sector in wider stakeholder discussions and initiatives across the city region. This work currently includes:

Access to Finance

Access to finance (A2F) is an issue that has been frequently cited as a direct barrier to growth for business in our region. As a community of advisors, BPS Birmingham Leaders wanted to play their part in making this complicated area more accessible and intelligible. Working with the Greater Birmingham Local Enterprise Partnership, our members have built the first A2F portal incorporating private, public and alternative funding sources for a wider variety of business needs (debt, equity, mezzanine etc.) . It was launched in early 2015 and is now an integral part of the regional Growth Hub

BPS Birmingham Leaders remain involved in maintaining the portal and supporting GBSLEP’s A2F sub-group through member representation and providing valuable communication channels to increase dialogue and knowledge exchange.

If this is an area that you would like to find out more about, please contact our Executive Director Hilary Smyth-Allen in the first instance.

BPS Sector Champion Role

The Chair of BPS Birmingham Leaders is the Sector Champion on behalf of the Business Professional Services (BPS) sector for Greater Birmingham Local Enterprise Partnership. Both Ahmed Farooq – our current Chair – and Executive Director Hilary Smyth-Allen, have been supporting the sector champions working group for nearly two years feeding into important discussions relating predominately to the refresh of GBSLEP’s strategic economic plan. For members and supporters of BPS, this means:

– Opportunities to take part in formal and informal consultations. For example, we have hosted sector insight meetings to provide intelligence on issues that we are advising businesses on; round table discussions for formal consultations.
– Presentations to supporters on GBSLEP current thinking, economic research and planned activity.
– Key speaking opportunities to represent the sector on influential platforms e.g GBSLEP’s AGM.
– Invitations to ancillary events on key issues and thematic working groups.

Stakeholder Submissions

BPS Birmingham works to be a responsible and engaged community, which responds to relevant matters and initiatives in the city region. Typically, this takes the form of hosting events in partnership with stakeholders on emerging and current affairs, as well as responding to formal consultations. Upcoming events can be found on our events calendar and recent consultation submissions can be viewed here.

Skills, Talent & Access to the BPS Sector

Without a doubt, the single biggest challenge the BPS sector faces relates to the recruitment and retention of talent at all levels and with greater diversity in all aspects. It’s an issue that BPS Birmingham has championed and led on in recent years. Through the research activity of the BPS Birmingham Future Commission which examined how to attract and retain young professional talent to the city region, to supporting the development of the Greater Birmingham Professional Services Academy at Birmingham Metropolitan College and most recently the inaugural Professional Services Week.

To find out how you can support our work in this area or get involved in the key initiatives, please contact our Executive Director.

Superfast City

Based on feedback from our members, we understand that access to superfast broadband, and in some cases even basic broadband, is far from guaranteed in the central business district. Connectivity is central to all businesses, both physically and digitally and so whilst many choose Birmingham, particularly the CBD, to benefit from this, not having the digital infrastructure in place for operating in the modern world poses a serious risk, particularly for BPS sector SMEs. Whilst BT Openreach is increasingly criticised nationally on this matter, BPS Birmingham is working with Colmore Business District, Digital Birmingham, and Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership to explore securing funding to make superfast broadband more affordable for small and medium sized firms in the city centre.

If this is an issue that affects you or are concerned about, please contact our Executive Director.

HR Directors Forum

Established by BPS Birmingham BYPY Sponsor Gateleys and supported by BPS Birmingham Leaders, the HR Directors Forum is aimed at HR organisations and senior level directors working within business and professional services in Greater Birmingham. Through sharing experiences and providing a collective voice, the aim of the HR Directors Forum is to identify common issues and work together to overcome people and talent challenges faced by the sector. The group meets quarterly and prospective attendees should contact our Executive Director to express interest.