Press release

Enterprise Nation launches speed-funding in Donegal to support start-ups and small businesses

Enterprise Nation launches speed-funding in Donegal to support start-ups and small businesses
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation

Posted: Thu 14th Mar 2024

Small businesses in Donegal looking to raise investment in 2024 are set to be connected to Ireland's top lenders at an online speed-funding event next week.

The Show Me the Money event on 21 March, run by small business support platform and membership community Enterprise Nation, will help start-ups and small businesses get access to early-stage seed funding and growth investment.

The event is the final speed-funding session to be held, with previous events in Cork, Dublin and Galway attracting hundreds of founders. It will see small business owners hear from experts on a range of funding solutions from venture to angel investment, crowdfunding to retail banks.

The speaker line-up includes serial tech entrepreneur Barry Harper, CEO and founder of the leading connected worker software firm Nvolve, based in Letterkenny. Barry said:

"Every new business has different funding requirements but for the tech space my advice to the founders of early stage and start-up firms would be to focus on creating a minimum viable product (MVP) before you think about taking on investment.

"Once you have your MVP and it's working, just get into the market and find some early customers which will start to show that you can build cash flow, and use that to invest back into the business.

"If you do need funding in the early stages, I would suggest looking at grants from the Local Enterprise Office or Enterprise Ireland which can offer low risk cash to your business.

"Once you have established that the business has growth potential, that's the time to explore funding options that are going to be debated as part of this event."

Barry is joined at the event by John Stapleton, who has co-founded food industry-challenger brands including New Covent Garden Soup Company and Little Dish. He now shares his experience and invests and mentors via Redesdale Food & Beverage Fund.

Also speaking will be Catherine Devine, Founder of Pumpskynz, along with a panel of funders including LinkedFinance and MicroFinance Ireland plus accountants from AccountantOnline.

Enterprise Nation's quarterly Small Business Barometer found 74% of Irish businesses said they plan to access funding this year. Just over a third (37%) plan to borrow €10,000 or less with one in five (18%) planning to borrow up to €20,000 and another 11% raising up to €30,000.

A fifth (22%) expect to use alternative lending, but the most popular option for investment is still the bank, with a quarter (24%) looking to Ireland's banking sector for funds. Only seven per cent said they would crowdfund.

The events are part of Access to Finance, a broader nationwide initiative in partnership with SBCI, BPFI, AIB, Bank of Ireland and PTSB to support more businesses to improve financial management skills. Since its launch last year, it has already supported just under 2,000 businesses, with 40 per cent of those at the start-up stage.

The event is free, but booking is essential here.

Mags Fullen, head of mortgages and business banking at the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI), said:

"BPFI and our member banks are delighted to support the 'Show me the Money' event in Donegal. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) play a crucial role in Irish society, accounting for around 60% of all employment in the economy.

According to the CSO, most of these businesses, over 92%, are what we call micro enterprises, employing less than 10 people. It is absolutely vital that we support these small businesses, not only at the start-up phase but also to support them to grow and thrive, and it's clear that access to appropriate funding plays an important role in this regard.

"Considering there are many different options available, we hope that this event will help business owners by providing a pathway to the information and support they need."

Suzanne Sweeney, head of strategy, finance and operations at the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI), said:

"The SBCI has already supported almost 50,000 Irish SMEs with low-cost flexible funding. We want to help even more and this series of events and programme of support is a fabulous way to do it.

"Understanding and demystifying the wide range of funding options open to start-ups and business founders and the best way to help them get access to the funding they need to grow and prosper in a sustainable way."

Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation, said:

"What is the best kind of finance for your business and how do you go about accessing it? Our Show me the Money event will help busy founders work out exactly that by listening to experts from different areas of finance."

The Access to Finance programme continues through to Summer, with an online library of e-learning materials on how small firms can access funding and grow.


About Enterprise Nation

Enterprise Nation is a business support platform and provider delivering support to more than 800,000 small businesses a year in the UK and Ireland. Its aim is to help people turn their good ideas into great businesses -- through expert advice (including a comprehensive resources library), events, acceleration support programmes and networking.  

 Enterprise Nation was founded in 2005 by British entrepreneur Emma Jones. She is author of best-selling business books and is a frequently called-on and regular media commentator on a range of issues which affect the UK's growing number of SMEs.

Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation has helped thousands of people start and grow their businesses. Led by founder, Emma Jones CBE, Enterprise Nation connects you to the resources and expertise to help you succeed.

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