Up to €20m pledged at FundSME conference
The founder of a website to help SMEs get capital said that the first iteration of the firm's annual conference will result in as much as €20m in funding being committed to small businesses.
The Irish initiative, FundSME, had €50m pledged by financiers and made available at the conference which took place yesterday in the RDS. The Irish Independent was a media partner for the conference, which was designed as a one-stop shop linking SMEs with the most suitable funding provider, from bank-lending to crowdfunding.
Speaking to the Irish Independent, FundSME CEO Nollaig Fahy said that the conference had had a "fantastic response" and was attended by more than 700 companies.
"Between all the finance exhibitors there was up to €50m pledged and available on the day," he said.
"We will know in the coming weeks and months how much of that has agreed to have been loaned [but] I would hope that we would have had about €15m-€20m committed to funding."
FundSME is now set to hold a similar event in Belfast during the autumn while Mr Fahy added that he was aiming to bring the event to the UK in the spring of the new year.
The conference was also attended by Tánaiste Joan Burton who welcomed the initiative. Speaking at the event, she said: "It's always helpful for SMEs and startups to have sources of information on the range of funding available.
"But what many small business owners need is that crucial bit of additional insight - how to access these options.
"I am delighted to support FundSME and look forward to it playing an important role in our continued recovery and wish the event and the FundSME website every success."