Finance Wales launches £136 million Wales Business Fund
Finance Wales hosted a breakfast event to highlight their new
£136 million fund at the Faenol Fawr hotel in St Asaph. The Finance
Wales Board was also in attendance at the event which was led by
Chief Executive Giles Thorley.
The Wales Business Fund, backed by the European Regional
Development Fund (ERDF) and Welsh Government, was launched last
week in Cardiff. At the same time it was announced that the
investment company, which is owned by the Welsh Government, will
evolve in to a Development Bank for Wales.
The £136 million fund is the largest EU fund to be launched in
Wales following June’s vote to leave the union. Structural and
investment projects agreed with the EU prior to the 2016 autumn
statement have been guaranteed by the UK Government.
The fund offers flexible finance solutions to small and
medium-sized businesses (SMEs) with a base in Wales. Debt and
equity packages are available from £50,000 up to £2 million.
Economy Cabinet Secretary Ken Skates said: “Small and medium
sized enterprises make an invaluable contribution to the Welsh
economy and the Welsh Government is committed to supporting these
companies to grow and prosper and create jobs. The Wales Business
Fund is the latest in a number of funding initiatives designed to
help all types of enterprises accelerate investment and growth
plans and will be open for investing in Welsh SMEs for the next
Finance Wales’ CEO Giles Thorley said: “This new fund will give us
yet more opportunities to help Welsh businesses. The Wales Business
Fund complements our existing finance options for Welsh SMEs.
Through our ten business funds our investment teams can offer
flexible funding solutions from £1000 up to £3 million. More than
90% of Welsh businesses have fewer than nine employees, making them
micro-businesses. SMEs are the lifeblood of the Welsh economy and
we’re here to help them grow and thrive.”
Last financial year Finance Wales invested £45m into Welsh SMEs,
leveraging an additional £64.6m in private sector investment –
creating or safeguarded over 3,000 jobs.
A recent independent report by Regeneris Consulting and Oldbell3
praised the impact of the now fully invested Wales JEREMIE Fund,
also managed by Finance Wales on behalf of the Welsh Government and
The Wales JEREMIE Fund invested £28.8 million over 158
investments in North Wales, leveraging an additional £27.8 million
in private funding. 1300 jobs were created or safeguarded by the
fund in North Wales. Across Wales more than 11,000 jobs were
created or safeguarded by investments from the Wales JEREMIE