28/03/2013

New Initiative Announced To Help SMEs

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has announced a new initiative by Invest Northern Ireland to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) access funding.

The Finance Voucher initiative will provide support to businesses to access professional help to prepare funding proposals.

Speaking about the initiative Arlene Foster said: "Having a robust, well constructed and detailed funding proposal is vital when approaching lenders; be that banks, private investors or fund managers.

"The Finance Voucher initiative will help SMEs ensure they have the right support to develop good funding proposals, giving them the best chance possible to be successful in their application. Businesses will be able to use the voucher to cover up to 49% of costs incurred by using a professional to help them develop their funding proposal.

"Accessing finance remains a challenge for many small businesses so I am especially pleased that Invest Northern Ireland is proactively addressing this by introducing yet more ways to help businesses raise the capital they need to develop and grow. This help also includes a suite of equity and debts funds created to ensure businesses are not held back because they are unable to access finance – part of Invest NI's Access to Finance initiative.

"In addition to the Finance Voucher, Invest NI is also running Raising Finance workshops across Northern Ireland over the next few months. I would encourage any business looking for funding to attend one of these workshops."

To be eligible for a Finance Voucher businesses must demonstrate they are exporting, or planning to export, or alternatively have a turnover of £150k per annum, or will achieve this level within the next three years.

(CD)

Related Northern Ireland Business News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

12 January 2005
Minister launches guides to small business funding
The Minister for Small Business and Enterprise, Nigel Griffiths, has unveiled two guides designed to help small and growing firms improve their chances of raising the right funding for their business.
02 October 2013
Ministers Discuss Finance Challenges Within NI
Finance Minister Simon Hamilton MLA and Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster MLA have met with the Business Secretary of State the Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable to discuss access to finance challenges within Northern Ireland.
09 October 2001
Peace and Reconciliation roadshow on tour
The Intermediary Funding Bodies (IFBs) involved in the forthcoming EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland (Peace II) are launching a series of 19 roadshows.
07 June 2012
Dodds Launches Funding Directory For Businesses
DUP MEP Diane Dodds has launched a new funding directory for Northern Ireland businesses, comprising almost 40 EU funding streams currently open to local industry. The directory was launched at Titanic Belfast with guest speakers including First Minister Rt.
01 May 2013
Access To Finance Remains An Obstacle For Businesses - Overend
Ulster Unionist Economy spokesperson, Sandra Overend MLA, has said that access to finance remains a huge obstacle for many small and medium sized businesses in advance of a briefing from Ulster Bank to the Enterprise, Trade and Investment Committee on the UK wide ‘Funding for Lending’ Scheme.