Government unveils €175 million venture capital scheme for SMEs

Seed and Venture Capital Scheme was promised under the Government’s action plan for jobs

 

The Government today launched a new €175 million investment scheme to promote job creation in the SME sector.

The Seed and Venture Capital Scheme, promised under the Government’s action plan for jobs, is aimed at providing additional funding for high-growth Irish companies with the potential to generate large amounts of additional export sales and grow jobs.

The six-year scheme, which will be operated by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Enterprise Ireland, will target high-growth innovative firms in fast-growing sectors such as ICT, life sciences, high-tech manufacturing and the green economy.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton today issued the first call for “expressions of interest” from venture capital funds seeking investment, and advertisements will appear in newspapers from this weekend.

Mr Bruton said the Government targeting an additional €525 million in funding from the private sector, making a total of €700 million available for investment over the lifetime of the scheme.

It is expected that the average initial venture investment in a company made by the funds targeted under this call could be of the order of €2 million.

Unveiling the initiative at the Dublin offices of digital firm Swrve, Mr Bruton said: “While the multinational sector is and will remain crucial to our industrial strategy, I am determined to ensure that we also support the creation of a powerful engine of Irish enterprise that can sustain and create the levels of employment we need.”

“A key part of the Government’s plans to support Irish businesses is to provide access to credit for a range of different types of businesses, from micro-enterprises employing fewer than 10 people up to mid-sized and large engineering companies in need of development capital.”

Enterprise Ireland chief executive Frank Ryan said the venture capital sector played a vital role in supporting and increasing employment in innovative businesses.

“The world of Venture Capital investing is changing and we are particularly interested in receiving expressions of interest that reflect current thinking in the market,” he said.

“Proposals are sought that will deliver ‘smart capital’ to investees as the provision of advice, support, and access to networks in addition to any capital invested is vital to the development of our companies to ensure that they can continue to grow and create jobs in Ireland.”