ResearchFDI is pleased to announce their assistance in securing a new Commonwealth-sourced foreign direct investment (FDI) project for the West Midlands. The investment has been made by Canada-based pan-African fintech company, Kora and was announced as the Commonwealth Games opened in Birmingham, UK.
FDI and the Global Growth Programme
As of 2020, ResearchFDI and the West Midlands Growth Company have worked together on investment attraction projects. In the past two years, our partnership has helped the West Midlands achieve significant results and investment wins, including helping the West Midlands Growth Company secure investments through the Global Growth Programme. The West Midlands Global Growth Programme is part of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Business and Tourism Programme (BATP) – the first economic legacy programme of its kind aligned to the Commonwealth Games and is designed to strengthen bilateral ties between the UK and other Commonwealth markets.
When asked about these new investments, Andrew Griffith MP, UK Minister for Exports, said:
“I’m so pleased to share these new investments, a direct result of the Global Growth Programme, which has helped to showcase the potential of the West Midlands for businesses to invest in. We already have free trade agreements with 33 Commonwealth nations and additional ones that we are currently negotiating will unlock fresh opportunities for further collaboration, particularly in the green industries that are priorities for the UK and our Commonwealth partners.”
Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said:
“As we celebrate the start of the Commonwealth Games, these valuable Commonwealth-sourced investments are a sign that the Global Growth Programme is already bearing fruit and emphasise Birmingham’s position as an international business hub. I look forward to seeing Kora and The Disposal Company thrive in our city, as well as welcoming many more growing enterprises that choose to base their UK headquarters here.”
Identifying KORA as a viable Investment Attraction target
Kora was approached by ResearchFDI in May of 2022 ahead of the West Midlands team visiting North America to support the Queen’s Baton Relay. After the company was identified as a viable investment lead, ResearchFDI arranged two introductory meetings between the West Midlands business recruitment team and Kora’s management.
Through the meetings and on-going market research, ResearchFDI introduced Kora to Bruntwood, a property management company offering office space, serviced offices, retail space and virtual offices in the north of England and Birmingham. Bruntwood had partnered with the West Midlands Growth Company to launch fully funded UK market entry and soft-landing support programmes for innovative foreign direct investors. This partnership provided Kora with “soft landing” office space at Bruntwood SciTech’s Innovation Birmingham campus.
To facilitate Kora’s investment in the West Midlands, ResearchFDI arranged for Kora to visit Birmingham in July 2022 to participate in “UK House”, an eight-day trade and investment program that was held at the same time as the Commonwealth Games, aimed at fostering sustainable growth partnerships. Business leaders and government officials gathered to discuss the transition to net zero and the ways in which sustainable economic growth could be stimulated through trade, including green investment opportunities, innovative technologies and green finance. As part of this visit, ResearchFDI also assisted Kora in registering for the Business Professional and Financial Services sector day, which equipped Kora and other investors with an immersive first-hand experience of the West Midland’s business landscape.
When asked about their investment, Gideon Orovwiroro, Chief Operations Officer at Kora, said:
“Marking our first ever European investment, the launch of our new Birmingham office is a major milestone for Kora. The region’s extensive pipeline of tech talent and strong track-record in FinTech and banking will support us in enabling more businesses and individuals to make use of our innovative payments infrastructure.”
ResearchFDI and the West Midlands Growth Company Investment Attraction
ResearchFDI has had a long-standing relationship with the West Midlands Growth Company, previously assisting in securing investments such as the expansion of USA based eCommerce platform, Frabric Inc. in 2021 to establish an office in the regions, expecting to create 40 jobs by 2024, as well as the Canadian MarTech start-up, Morphio, recently acquired by Hawke Media, that announced plans in 2021 for their first international location in Birmingham which is expected to bring 12 new high-tech jobs to the region.
ResearchFDI is proud to have assisted the West Midlands Growth Company in securing these investments and is excited to continue to grow our relationship with the West Midlands Growth Company through future projects and collaborations.