A new £136m EU-backed fund to give businesses in Wales access to finance to help drive their productivity and the growth of the Welsh economy has been launched by First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones.
Managed by Finance Wales, the Wales Business Fund will support small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to accelerate their expansion plans by providing finance through loans and equity investments from £50,000 up to £2 million.
The fund will also provide finance for business start-ups as well as risk capital for the creation and growth of companies undertaking research and innovation, including spin outs, in key growth sectors such as advanced manufacturing, life sciences and health.
It will also help SMEs which may not otherwise be able to access all of the finance they need to take forward viable business opportunities.
Backed with £106m from the Welsh Government and the European Regional Development Fund, the First Minister announced the funding while visiting Cardiff-based Alesi Surgical.
The company is currently commercialising its leading surgical product, Ultravision, which was developed from concept to CE-marked device with support from Finance Wales’ predecessor Wales JEREMIE Fund, also backed with EU funds.
The First Minister said:
“Small and medium sized enterprises are the backbone of our economy and play a vital role in creating jobs, increasing productivity and driving growth across Wales.
As a pro-business Government, we are committed to supporting both start-up and existing businesses to grow and flourish and I am delighted that we are investing EU and Welsh Government funds to back this goal.”