Need expert help in raising business finance?


In partnership with Invest Northern Ireland, six local Councils in the North East have just launched an exciting new programme that will provide practical assistance to companies in need of finance.

The ‘Raising Finance for Small Firms Programme’ aims to assist small businesses in the Council areas of Antrim, Carrickfergus, Ballymena, Coleraine, Larne and Moyle to grow their business – despite the adverse economic conditions – by sourcing finance from a range of external sources. Full Circle Management Solutions has been appointed to deliver the programme.

Announcing the start of the recruitment phase of the Programme, Simon Devlin of Full Circle commented: “Businesses will have a unique opportunity to meet with potential funders at a series of Meet the Funder events to be held in each of the 6 Council areas from November. These events will highlight the full range of external finance opportunities that are currently available and show how these can be accessed successfully. Participants will also have the opportunity to attend a series of highly practical skills development workshops and secure practical business mentoring support to help them prepare viable financial plans that address the requirements of banks and other funders”.

Margaret Craig of Moyle District Council said:

“The impact of the economic recession has been hard, especially on small businesses. It has been particularly difficult for firms trying to raise finance, as many lenders have tightened their lending conditions, and this risks holding back business recovery and growth. What this programme seeks to do is to create a unique opportunity for businesses to meet finance providers and to find out, at first hand, how to make successful loan and investment applications. The mentor support will assist businesses develop viable financial plan that will address the requirements of banks and other funders”.

Glen Armstrong, Invest NI’s North-Eastern Regional Office Manager said: “Raising finance in the current economic climate is key to business success. With tightened lending criteria, it is important that SMEs understand how they need to develop loan applications and structure financial projections before looking for financial support. This initiative enables SMEs and lenders to meet face to face, allowing them to discuss the opportunities and challenges that exist and find workable solutions which will ultimately help businesses grow.”

Part-funded by Invest NI and the European Regional Development Fund under the Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland 2007 – 2013, the Programme is now open for registration.

For further information on the Programme or to secure a place at one of the Meet the Funder Events, please contact Claire Grant of Full Circle Management Solutions Ltd at 02890 691027 /