A £136m fund to help firms speed up investment and growth has been announced by Finance Wales at an event at the Capital Quarter. The Fund follows on from the success of the Wales JERMIE fund.
A recent independent report by Regeneris Consulting and Oldbell 3 highlighted the significant contribution that this fund provided to the Welsh SME sector between 2009 and 2015. In that time the £157m Fund supported 600 Welsh SME’s, safeguarding 7,317 jobs and creating a further 4,226. These investments attracted over £200m of additional private investment, boosting its total impact to just under £360m.
The money available over the next seven years, will also complement a planned new development bank for Wales which will have a wider remit than Finance Wales in its current capacity.
Announcing the new fund Chief executive of Finance Wales, Giles Thorley, said:
“Finance Wales continues to act as the consistent financial sponsor to the Welsh Economy – despite a challenging economic backdrop. Our investment teams work hand-in-glove with Welsh SMEs to further the economic policy priorities of the Welsh Government.
The announcement today of the Launch of the £136m Wales Business Fund is a strong endorsement of this strategy to provide commercially competitive financial support to the Micro and SME business sectors in Wales.
The Welsh Micro and SME sector is the lifeblood of the Wales economy. It is worth noting that the majority of businesses in Wales have fewer than nine staff. Within that there are fabulously innovative and technologically savvy businesses benefitting from excellent facilities, infrastructure, a skilled workforce and accessibility to creative and flexible funding solutions provided by Finance Wales.
Finance Wales is tasked with utilising the Wales Business Fund to provide flexible support, active co-investment and equity and loan packages ranging from £50,000 up to £2m. When complimented with other funds managed by Finance Wales this will offer investments from as little as £1,000 to £3m.
Following on from this launch further regional events across Wales in Llanelli, Aberystwyth, Merthyr Tydfil and St Asaph have been announced with turnout of over 400 delegates already booked to attend these events.
Finance Wales now has in excess of £700m assets under management.