01/03/2012

Minister announces £6m fund for micro businesses

A new £6million loan fund to support the growth of micro-businesses in Wales has been announced today by Business Minister Edwina Hart.


The new Fund is to be created as a direct response to the report of the Micro-Business Task and Finish Group, led by Institute of Directors Wales director Robert Lloyd Griffiths, which emphasised that access to finance is a key barrier to growth. The report published in January this year recommended the Welsh Government facilitate accessible finance of between £1,000 and £20,000 for micro-businesses that are simple and reflect the level of investment required.

Mrs Hart said: "I am listening to business and welcomed the report from the Micro Business Group. It highlighted the significant contribution these enterprises make to the Welsh economy and the real difficulty they have in accessing the levels of finance needed to grow and invest and create jobs. I have therefore decided to set up a £6million Micro-Business Loan Fund which will provide scope to support at least 300 businesses and anticipate it will become operational very early in the 2012/13 financial year."

The £6m capital investment is specifically to support micro-businesses and the Welsh Government is in advanced discussions with Finance Wales regarding management of the fund.

Welcoming the news, Robert Lloyd Griffiths said: "This is really positive news. I’m delighted that the first of the Task and Finish Group’s recommendations – a very important one – has been taken on board by the Minister so soon after the presentation of our report. Micro-businesses around Wales told us that access to finance was a real key to success so I know this Fund will make a big difference. The Task and Finish Group was an independent body of private sector individuals and it’s encouraging to see the Minister engaging with the business community in this way."