A new investment fund worth £40 million was announced last week, specifically targeting SMEs in Wales. This fund is looking to give Welsh small businesses access to funding which might be out of their reach when going to the banks. As well as asset finance and invoice discounting, funds such as the Wales SME Investment Fund can help small businesses looking to boost their cash flow.
The Wales SME Investment Fund is designed to create up to 4,000 jobs, and opened for applications late last week.The four year investment fund will be managed by Finance Wales, and forms part of the package of new finance options for Welsh small and medium enterprises.
This new finance option will provide wider accces for SMEs and more will be eligible to apply for funding. It will cater for sections of the Welsh SME sector that are not covered by European initiatives.
The Wales SME Investment Fund will complement programs such as the £150 million JEREMIE fund, a Eureopean baced initiative which is the main source of commerical infnace for SMEs – though not all are eligible to apply.
Fewer than half of all Welsh SMEs meet the strict conditions of the European JEREMIE fund, but the new Welsh funding initiative includes businesses who sell services to customers as well as other businesses, ensuring greater eligibility for SMEs.
The JEREMIE fund is the best performing fund of its type in the UK, having awarded over £80million in its first two years of operation.
Expansion of finance options will give more means to find funding for many businesses, which will be essential in securing growth and expansion.
Growth and expansion are often limited by cash flow, which is a prevalent problem for many SMEs. Getting caught up in supply chains, late payments and unwilling banks all add up to a harsh environment for finding funding.
Asset finance and invoice discounting are proving to be important for growth and recovery across the whole of the UK. There are not always schemes that cover all small businesses, so it’s important for all SMEs to stay up to date with the latest funding options.