Invest NI have developed a new support programme, ‘Ambition To Grow’, to support the growth of local SME businesses across Northern Ireland. It is particularly focusing on SME’s who are looking to export their products and create new jobs in the country.
New Support For Local Businesses
This new innovative support programme was launched today by the Economy Minister Gordon Lyons, with £1.8 million of funds allocated to it. He is quoted on the Economy NI website (where you can also find out how you can apply for the programme) as saying:
“I am delighted to announce this new support for our local businesses. As a competitive programme, Ambition to Grow will offer valuable financial support, alongside Invest NI’s expertise, to local SMEs from across Northern Ireland. The programme is being specifically managed by Invest NI’s Regional Team and will ensure businesses in every region will benefit. It will help them to create skilled jobs, grow their business through exports, and work towards reaching a turnover of over £1million.”
He went on to say that:
“My Department’s 10X Economic Vision recognises that we are a small, competitive economy and highlights the important role that SMEs play in developing this success further. This programme will enable successful SMEs to avail of support that will help increase their capacity, business knowledge, and to upskill existing and new employees, to take their growth to the next level. The ultimate goal is to increase the number of SMEs across all areas of Northern Ireland successfully growing and competing globally.”
Exploring New Ways To Provide Best-Fit Support
In the same article Mel Chittock, Invest NI interim CEO, said:
“As the business landscape has continually evolved we’re exploring new ways in which we can effectively provide best-fit support to businesses. Ambition to Grow has been designed to offer a new competitive approach, with a focus on supporting ambitious, innovative SMEs that are in the earliest stages of their development and who have had no support from us in the past five years. The support will be split evenly across our Regional Office network, with the top ten applications from each region receiving support.
“To help businesses understand this new approach and if the programme is a good fit for them, we are hosting information sessions in each of the 11 council areas from 12 to 20 October. Interested businesses can book to attend an information session in their local area to meet our Regional Business teams and find out about the programme. I would encourage all eligible SMEs to attend and find out about how we can support the early stages of your business growth journey.”
Among all the doom and gloom there are chinks of light surfacing here and there, where people and organisations are creating innovative new projects and providing help to individuals and businesses. This is certainly one of them. We wish it well.