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Access to Finance - Supporting Business Growth

SMEs are the backbone of our economy providing approximately three quarters of all private sector jobs and turnover. Regardless of size or stage of development, businesses need funding to scale to the next level.

Aimed at ambitious SMEs whose growth is constrained by a lack of traditional finance, Invest NI provides a range of funding solutions under the banner of ‘Access to Finance’.

Totalling almost £200m, there are 6 funds spanning a deal size range of £10k to £5m and offering support to SMEs across both debt and equity markets.



The funds, which operate on a fully commercial basis, are managed by independent NI based FCA approved fund managers who retain responsibility for all investment decisions. The experienced and knowledgeable fund managers will also offer guidance and mentoring support to help SMEs develop strategies and ultimately unlock the full potential of their business.

Finance for the funds may be provided solely by Invest NI (part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund) or in conjunction with the private sector.

If you want help to take your business to the next level then don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Video | Hear how the Access to Finance funds help local companies and the Northern Ireland economy


Loan Funding

Growth Loan Fund II (ERDF)

Fund Manager: WhiteRock Finance

A £30m loan fund designed to support export focused NI SMEs demonstrating growth or strong growth potential. Loans are typically between £100k and £500k.

  • Loans are provided on commercial terms with pricing reflective of the risk involved
  • There must be an identified funding gap in a proposed investment (applicants must have tried and been unable to raise all required funding from Banks / financial institutions)
  • Companies must be able to demonstrate their ability to service loan repayments from projected cash flows

Video | Paul Millar talks about Whiterock Capital and the support they can offer companies

This fund is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the EU Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014 - 2020.


Case Study

Hear from companies who have benefited from the Growth Loan Fund I:

Conveyortek

We are Vertigo


For more information visit:  WhiteRock Finance

T: +44 (0) 28 9500 1060
E: Send Email to WhiteRock Finance

Growth Finance Fund

Fund Manager: WhiteRock Finance

A £30m loan fund designed to support export focused NI SMEs demonstrating growth or strong growth potential. Loans are typically between £500k and £2m.

  • Loans are provided on commercial terms with pricing reflective of the risk involved
  • There must be an identified funding gap in a proposed investment (applicants must have tried and been unable to raise all required funding from Banks / financial institutions)
  • Companies must be able to demonstrate their ability to service loan repayments from projected cash flows

For more information visit:  WhiteRock Finance

T: +44 (0) 28 9500 1060
E: Send Email to WhiteRock Finance

NI Small Business Loan Fund

Small Business Loan Fund

Fund Manager: Ulster Community Finance Ltd

An £8m loan fund for NI based individuals, private companies and social enterprises in the SME and micro enterprise size range and in the start-up or growth phases of development.  Loans are typically unsecured and range between £10k and £100k (maximum £15K for start-up businesses).

Video | Harry McDaid talks about the Ulster Community Investment Trust and what they do.

Video | Hear from John Jameson, MD of iota discuss how Access to Finance helped the company to grow.

For more information visit:

www.nisblf.com   


Equity Funding

COVID-19 Equity Investment Fund

Invest NI has launched a £5 million fund for qualifying Northern Ireland based early stage high-growth potential businesses to access financing to progress business plans and prepare for recovery and growth.

Support, up to a maximum of 50% of the funding round, is available:

  • Through equity investment or convertible loan notes of up to a maximum of £700,000; and
  • On pari passu terms (meaning on substantially the same terms) as other investors in the funding round.

Support in excess of £700,000 may be available by way of a commercial loan.

The fund is now open to applications. All legal documentation must be completed by 12 noon on 31 December 2020.

Find out more

Techstart NI (ERDF)

TechstartNI logo

Fund Manager: Techstart Ventures

A collection of funds providing support to NI based entrepreneurs, seed / early stage SMEs and university spin-outs. Support includes a £30m SME equity fund, investing between £50k - £750k in any one round and up to £2m over a series of funding rounds, and a £4.5m Proof of Concept Grant Fund.

Video | Jamie Andrews talks about TechStart NI and what they do

This fund is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the EU Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014-2020.


Case Study

Hear from companies who benefited from this fund:

CADshare

Nuerovalens


For more information visit: techstartNI

T: +44 (0) 28 9032 5506
E: Send Email to TechstartNI

Co-Fund NI II (ERDF)

Co-FundNI logo

Fund Manager: Clarendon Fund Managers

A £50m equity fund for SMEs based in Northern Ireland. The fund co-invests alongside business angels and other private investors. The fund can provide co-investment in deals typically valued between £150k and £1m and up to £1.25m over a series of investment rounds, at a ratio of up to 50%.

Video | Neil Simms talks about Clarendon Fund Managers and the support they can offer companies

This fund is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the EU Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014-2020.


Case Study

Hear from companies who benefited from this fund:

Adoreboard


For more information visit: Co-Fund NI

T: +44 (0) 28 9032 6465
E: Send Email to Clarendon Fund Managers

Crescent IV (ERDF)

Crescent Capital logo

Fund Manager: Crescent Capital

A venture capital fund with the potential to invest £54m in innovative, high growth potential SMEs within the technology, life sciences and manufacturing sectors. Individual investments will range from £500k to £2.5m with an upper limit of £5m over a series of investment rounds.

This fund is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the EU Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014 – 2020.

Video | Colin Walsh talks about Crescent Capital NI Ltd and the support they can offer companies

For more information visit:

Crescent Capital
T: +44 (0) 28 9042 8367
E: Send Email to Crescent Capital

Case Study

Hear from companies who have benefited from this fund:

Shnuggle

Humain


HBAN (Halo Business Angel Network)

HBAN logo

Fund Managers: Clarendon Fund Managers

HBAN is the all island Business Angel network, a joint initiative between Invest NI, InterTradeIreland and Enterprise Ireland. The HBAN programme encourages business angels to operate within syndicates and it also provides a matching service between companies seeking investors and business angels.

For more information visit: HBAN


Not sure that this support is right for you? Contact us and we can explore options for your business together.

Our support may be subject to some eligibility criteria.


Further information:

British business bank

The business finance guide



Further information:

British business bank

The business finance guide

Catalyst

InterTradeIreland


Not sure that this support is right for you? Contact us and we can explore options for your business together.

Our support may be subject to some eligibility criteria.


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0800 181 4422

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