£40m fund for small firms in Wales opens for business
Backers hope to create up to 4,000 jobs
A £40m fund designed to help small firms in Wales is now “open for business”, according to the country’s business minister Edwina Hart.
The Wales SME Investment Fund will run for four years, and provide debt and equity funding to small companies unable to access finance by other means.
The fund’s backers hope to create up to 4,000 jobs through their new initiative, and provide a viable alternative to funding from the European Commission – whose criteria currently precludes more than half of Wales’ small businesses.
The Welsh Assembly has already rolled out the £150m Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises Initiative (JEREMIE) fund for small businesses, and it is hoped the new SME Investment Fund will complement this scheme.
Announcing the scheme, Edwina Hart said: “This new fund forms part of a very comprehensive package of funding support from the Welsh Government for small, medium and micro-sized businesses in Wales. “The new fund will provide wider access for small firms which means that more will be eligible to apply for support. I am pleased to say it will cater for large and strategically important sections of the small business market that are not eligible for support under the already highly-successful, European-backed Wales JEREMIE Fund”.