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NI SMEs encouraged to register for free InterTradeIreland funding advisory workshops

InterTradeIreland is holding a series of workshops across Northern Ireland in 2019 as part of its Funding Advisory Service for Established Businesses.  The Service aims to help ambitious established businesses find new or alternative sources of funding to develop their businesses.

The next local FREE workshop, which will be run by InterTradeIreland’s delivery partners Grant Thornton, will take place on the 31st January in Newry from 7.30am until 10.30am with others planned for Bangor, Cookstown and Belfast.  In addition to providing independent and objective advice and networking opportunities with funding providers, participants will learn about a variety of funding options including Asset Financing, Asset Based Lending (ABL), Peer to Peer Lending (P2P) Equity Funding and Government backed loan funds.

These events are aimed at businesses with a turnover in excess of £100,000 and who have been trading for at least 18 months.  The workshops are not aimed at start-up businesses.

Twenty companies annually will be given the opportunity to avail of a further one-to-one advisory service.  Each of the twenty companies will be appointed a dedicated corporate finance expert from Grant Thornton who will work with the company over a series of meetings with the objective of improving their fund raising capacity to enable their businesses to grow.

With so many funding sources now on the market, the free regional workshops and advisory services aim to help local established businesses to explore all the finance options available and become more ‘funding ready’ and ultimately raise new funding as a direct result of participating on the programme.

Shane O’Hanlon, Operations manager for InterTradeIreland (pictured) said: “We carried out research into how much SMEs knew about alternative types of finance and found had they had limited knowledge outside of traditional lenders such as banks.

“With limited resources, SMEs struggled to find the time to research the options and find the avenue best suited to their business objectives giving an over-reliance on short-term financing such as overdraft facilities which are often less economically advantageous and not viable for a sustained period.

“Our Funding Advisory Service is now holding a series of workshops to help established local companies grow and prosper by educating and informing them on new and alternative routes to finance.

“These workshops will provide attendees with practical lessons in applying for and securing funding to enable the company to grow. Whilst these events are free, early registration is advisable. We have also developed a Business Planning Tool which is available for download on our website and is a practical guide to help SMEs clearly set out their business plan and objectives when seeking finance,” Shane added.

Northern Ireland workshops planned include Newry on the 31st January, Bangor on the 21st March, Cookstown 6th June and Belfast on the 3rd October 2019. Local established SMEs can register for these workshops at  intertradeireland.com/funding