Micro loans from Finance Wales help more small businesses to startup and expand creating and safeguarding hundreds of jobs
From app designers to ice cream parlours, stone masons to bars,
restaurants and even a zoo - £1,000 and £50,000 micro loans
from Finance Wales are being used to start and expand small
businesses all over Wales.
Welsh business owners are using the flexible
loans to purchase stock and new equipment as well as to fit out
their premises. The loans are also being used to boost cash
flow, recruit new staff or even to buy businesses.
Finance Wales made 86 micro loans totalling
£2.7 million from the Wales Micro-business Loan and JEREMIE Funds
in the last financial year, exceeding its annual investment target
by 18%. These loans leveraged an additional £1.3 million to
inject £4.0 million into the Welsh economy.
Now in its third year, loans from the Wales
Micro-business Loan Fund helped to create and safeguard 167 jobs
(96 created and 71 safeguarded) during the year and 668 jobs (356
created and 312 safeguarded) since its launch.
Ambitious small businesses in Wales’ retail,
wholesale, hospitality and tourism sectors have benefitted from
over 40% of the micro loans.
Welcoming the news, Economy Minister Edwina
Hart said: “I’m pleased that small business owners in Wales now
have more funding options available following the launch of the
Wales Micro-business Loan Fund and they’re taking advantage of
them. Micro finance can have a significant impact on their
success and increase their contribution to the Welsh
economy. These loans are helping small businesses to create
and safeguard jobs and also boosting their owners’ confidence".
Nicola Edwards, Micro Loan Fund Manager at
Finance Wales is impressed by the ambition and diversity of the
businesses her micro loans team works with.
“The Wales Micro-business Loan Fund has
significantly increased Finance Wales’ reach, allowing us to
help small businesses in previously ineligible sectors. We’re
receiving applications from an increasingly diverse range of small
businesses with some exciting and well-thought-through business
“While we’re backing more bars, restaurants
and retailers than ever, some of the more unusual businesses our
micro loans are helping include an app designer, an ice cream
parlour as well as a special effects company. We’ve even
backed a zoo. Our micro loans can help with a range of
practical funding needs and they’re flexible enough to provide
these businesses with the financial boost they need to achieve
their aspirations,” she explained.
Some of the latest small businesses
benefitting from Finance Wales micro loans include:
BiBi Bags, Newport
£20,000 to fit out new shop takes
online retailer onto the high street
Newport retailer Sahra Bibi Hassan contacted
Finance Wales when she wanted to expand her growing online fashion
business which sells designer bags and accessories.
A £20,000 loan helped her to launch BiBi Bags
on the high street and her first shop opens in Newport city centre
on 17th August alongside other new shops as part of the
city’s current redevelopment.
Commenting on how the loan has helped her,
Miss Hassan said: “Having successfully established the business
online, opening a shop was the next step for me. I contacted
Business Wales for help and they recommended Finance
“Finance Wales took time to understand my
plans and I’m pleased to have secured the funds I needed to fit out
my shop. The shop will be an exciting showcase for the business and
also let us get to know our customers better.”
North Wales Stone Products Ltd,
£50,000 loan for cash-flow and
Corwen-based North Wales Stone Products is a
leading UK supplier of commercial granite, marble, quartz and
silestone products which has been providing stone masonry services
for 20 years.
Local businessman, Philip Wildbur bought the
company in 2014 and a £50,000 loan from Finance Wales has boosted
the company’s cash flow, enabled him to buy equipment and also
undertake more business development
“When I bought North Wales Stone Products, I
knew I’d need additional finance to put get off to a good start and
build on the company’s reputation and position in the market.
Finance Wales’ loan provided the financial backing we needed to
enable us to implement some important changes to the business and
strengthen our orderbook,” Mr Wildbur explained.
Wiff Waff Bars,
£25,000 loan to launch and promote a
Having successfully started MG’s café bar in
Aberystwyth, owner Christopher Mackenzie Grieve used a £25,000 loan
from Finance Wales to help launch his second business, the family
friendly Wiff Waff Bar in an historic town-centre inn.
Mr Mackenzie Grieve said: “Wiff Waff bar
offers a unique and relaxing experience where customers can enjoy a
cocktail, our excellent food or just play a game of table
tennis. It’s already proving popular and we’re looking
forward to welcoming even more customers as our reputation
“I was keen to expand and open another bar
building on the success of MG’s café bar. Running MG’s gave us a
good understanding of the costs involved in launching and running a
bar and Finance Wales supported us with a loan that allowed us to
hire local staff and invest in marketing to get things off the
If your business is interested in micro loan