The British Business Bank has appointed a new director to its UK Network team in the Midlands, in a move that will strengthen the Bank’s on-the-ground presence.
Dr Sophie Dale-Black, who was previously regional director for the Midlands at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), will lead the British Business Bank’s UK Network team as a director for the Midlands and North of England.
In her new role, Sophie will support smaller businesses access the finance they need to recover, grow and prosper. The UK Network team’s remit is to also gain a deeper understanding of regional small business finance markets, to help shape the Bank’s support to smaller businesses and inform government policy.
A PhD-qualified scientist by training, Sophie joined ICAEW from Innovate UK, the UK Government’s innovation agency, where she supported the growth of innovative businesses.
Sophie said: “I have worked closely with the British Business Bank for a number of years and recognise the critical role it is playing in transforming finance markets for smaller businesses across the UK and specifically in the Midlands.
“I’m excited to build on this and support the UK Network team to deliver a lasting positive impact on smaller businesses in the Midlands. Access to finance has never been more important for smaller businesses, with many now looking to accelerate their recovery from the pandemic and unlock new growth.”
Warren Ralls, Managing Director, UK Network, said: “Sophie brings tremendous experience and connections to the smaller business and financial intermediary communities. This is alongside a strong background in science and innovation. These are key priorities for the British Business Bank as we look to help build on the UK’s reputation as a scientific superpower, driving forward innovation and the recovery in the regions.
“We would like to welcome Sophie to the team and look forward to working with her to enable smaller businesses to access the finance best suited to their needs”