Bibby has €60m to fund SME sector

One of the world’s largest funders of small business has pledged €60m to develop Ireland’s SME sector.

The new fund — being established by the Irish division of Bibby Financial Services — is aimed at helping Irish SMEs to generate cashflow in order to sustain and/or grow their business.

Commenting on the fund, the newly-appointed managing director of Bibby Financial Services Ireland (BFSI), Ronan Horgan, said: “Like all SMEs, our clients sell goods and services and many under their credit terms have a 60 or 90 day wait for payment. With day-to-day operating costs and staff salaries to pay, this arrangement is sometimes unsustainable for Irish SMEs. BFSI offers an alternative and more flexible source of finance called invoice finance where we buy those invoices, generating cash for the business.”

“We’re different from traditional sources of finance as we process credit applications and make a decision on financing in five days or less,” he added.

A recent SME Credit Demand survey — conducted by research company Red C, on behalf of the Department of Finance — showed that improved trading conditions had resulted in a weakening in demand for bank finance, among small firms. However, working capital requirements now rank as the main funding requirement for SMEs.

“In challenging trading conditions, businesses today can find it difficult to raise finance to operate their businesses and have, in effect, ‘given up’ on traditional banks. We urge SMEs to think outside the bank when it comes to financing their business,” Mr Horgan said.

The new €60m fund from Bibby forms part of a three-year Irish expansion strategy for the business; over which time it aims to double its workforce and achieve a 50% market share increase.

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