Carson McDowell and UU SME Centre's New Funding Guide will Help Business Growth

16 October 2015


Finance Minister Arlene Foster has said that a new funding guide, produced by the SME Centre at Ulster University Business School in partnership with Carson McDowell LLP, will support our local businesses to grow.

The guide highlights the comprehensive range of funding options available to SMEs and how to access them.

Speaking at the launch of the new funding guide, Finance Minister Arlene Foster said: “The Northern Ireland Executive remains firmly committed to growing a sustainable economy. SMES and entrepreneurs are the backbone of that economy and I will work relentlessly to create the conditions for our businesses to progress.

“In order to support growth, it is vitally important that SMEs are aware of the range of funding options available to them. This new guide is a valuable tool in creating awareness of funding opportunities as well as advice on how to access them. I have no doubt that it will be hugely valuable to SMEs in successfully growing their business, which will in turn pay dividends for the Northern Ireland economy as a whole.”

Kirsty McManus, Director of the SME Centre added, “Through our work with SMEs we constantly hear about the frustrations experienced by SMEs in accessing finance to enable them to move to the next level.  Their natural route is straight to a bank which doesn’t always deliver the results needed.  There are so many funding alternatives available but SMEs don’t have time to research and analyse every option.  This guide has done all that groundwork and presents a summary of the different types of funding together with a signpost to where further information can be found.”

Richard Gray, Carson McDowell said, “Access to funding and the right kind of funding is a challenge faced by most SME’s. An increasing number of Northern Ireland’s SMEs are now prepared to look beyond traditional bank debt as they try to grow their businesses, but the options open to them are not always clearly signposted. This guide is designed to be an easy reference point with credible examples that business owners in Northern Ireland can relate to as they explore the difference types of finance out there. Carson McDowell has seen a rise in corporate activity in 2015 and with confidence returning to the economy, we expect to see more businesses advancing their growth plans by entering new markets and making acquisitions in 2016.”

The Funding Guide for SMEs is free of charge and available here.

Picture below (l-r) are Richard Gray, partner and joint head of the corporate team at Carson McDowell, Finance Minister Arlene Foster and Kirsty McManus, Director of the Ulster University Business School's SME Centre.