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InterTradeIreland launches new ‘Funding For Growth’ Advisory Service

InterTradeIreland launches new ‘Funding For Growth’ Advisory Service

10 February 15

InterTradeIreland has today launched a new ‘Funding for Growth Advisory Service’ for local SMEs. The service is aimed at established SMEs in Ireland who are looking to grow and prosper by educating and informing them on new and alternative sources of finance.

The launch held in Croke Park was attended by more than 400 delegates who had the opportunity to hear real life stories from Gerard Keenan, Executive Chairman, Keenan Group and Donal Garrihy, Managing Director of 2468 Group about their funding journey and also directly from their funding providers. In addition, there were more than 50 funders exhibiting at the event, including local economic development agencies.

A series of 12 free regional workshops and 20 free advisory clinics was announced for SMEs to attend in 2015 across locations in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway.

The first workshop will take place in Dublin on Thursday 5th March and participants will learn about funding options for their business and will have the opportunity to network with funding providers. Following this, one-to-one advisory sessions with a corporate finance expert will be set up with those who are in a position to secure funding and who meet the relevant criteria.

Speaking at the launch, Margaret Hearty, Acting Chief Executive of InterTradeIreland said: “With the upturn in the economy, there are now a lot more funding for growth options available to local companies including private equity, trade credit, peer to peer lending and mezzanine finance. InterTradeIreland’s new advisory service will set out to educate SMEs on these new funding options and signpost them to practical funding options that best suit their business requirements.”

She added; “The challenge facing business is that without spending a huge amount of time researching the different options, it is difficult to know just how to access the money and which best suits their own specific business objectives. As a result, SMEs have continued to resort to tried and tested avenues which may be less economically advantageous and not viable for a sustained period.”

InterTradeIreland’s ‘Access to Finance for Growth’ report in 2013 estimated that bank funding to SMEs in Ireland and Northern Ireland accounted for over 90% of credit taken up by SMEs, much of which is short-term financing in the form of overdrafts.

At the event, InterTradeIreland also launched its new ‘Firm Growth, Credit Constraints and Financial Distress’ cross-border study. Using detailed data from over 2,500 businesses this report covers a broad spectrum of issues related to the funding of the SME sector, beginning by looking at the types of finance most commonly used, the demand for finance, examining the extent to which firms are subject to credit constraints, if this is affecting their overall performance and how widespread instances of financial distress are amongst firms. The report also examines if differences in banking strategies North and South of the border impact on these issues.

Aidan Gough, Strategy and Policy Director for InterTradeIreland commented: “Our new report has shed further light on a number of different issues raised in our ‘Access to Finance’ report published in 2013.

It has confirmed that firms continue to use short-term sources of finance, the most common of which is an overdraft facility and demonstrates that larger and more established firms are more likely to use all of the different finance types, while smaller and younger firms have access to a less diversified set of products and remain more likely to be credit constrained.”

Interestingly application rates for credit fell between 2012 and 2014 and the percentage of firms identified as credit constrained fell by half during that same period. It was also encouraging to note that the percentage of firms reporting no experience of financial distress increased from 40 per cent in 2012 to 63 per cent in 2014.

However, property debt overhang continues to be a problem for some firms but contrary to some speculation we were unable to find any evidence of different behaviour by banks operating on a cross-border basis.

All in all, I think this is a very encouraging report which really drills down into the issues affecting local SMEs day and daily. It shows that firms generally are leaving behind the effects of the financial crisis but that some key structural issues, mainly around informational opacity and financial expertise, remain.”

“It has given us a wealth of material and first-hand evidence which has allowed us to develop an appropriate and timely new advisory service for local established businesses. I would encourage local companies to sign up for the free workshops and clinics and avail of InterTradeIreland’s expertise and support to secure growth funding.” he concluded.

Further information on the new Funding for Growth advisory service including information and dates for the workshops and clinics and be found at