Business news

Invest NI commits £1.3m to support local SMEs to grow exports by £12m and create over 150 jobs across NI

Posted By:
Invest Northern Ireland (NI)

21st Mar 2023

Invest Northern Ireland’s Ambition to Grow Programme has offered support to 37 local companies to assist them to grow exports by £12million and create 154 new jobs.

Announced in October 2022, the competitive Ambition to Grow Programme is a £1.3million regionally focussed support programme. It focusses on supporting ambitious, innovative SMEs that are in the earliest stages of development and have had no support from Invest NI in the past five years.

Alan McKeown, Invest NI’s Executive Director of Regional Business said: “We designed Ambition to Grow as a new way to attract more companies to seek our support and increase our regional impact in Northern Ireland. 

“Following a competitive process we have offered 37 export driven SMEs valuable financial support to create jobs, develop new products and enhance the skills of their teams. The support being provided is not solely financial, and the new companies we are working with will now have access to the advice and expertise of teams from across Invest NI including our overseas office network in 29 global locations who will support them to successfully scale their exports and compete globally.”

Support was awarded to applicants on a competitive basis. Applications were assessed and scored, with the highest scoring companies awarded funding, following a successful validation interview.

Alan continued: “What’s great about this programme is the impact these investments will have within local communities. Once in place, the 154 jobs will contribute almost £5million in additional annual salaries to the NI economy.

“In addition, the new relationships being forged with businesses that we were previously not engaged with is likely to open conversations around investment in areas such as Research & Development and the Green Economy. This provides the opportunity to support these companies to deliver new innovation and business improvements that may not otherwise have happened.

“Investments like these will assist us to realise the ambitions in the Department for the Economy’s 10X Vision and ultimately accelerate 10X transformational change across our economy. We look forward to working with the companies to support them to grow their businesses through new employment, exports, and competing in global markets.”