Belfast Telegraph

Invest NI venture capital scheme targets 'early stage innovation'

A NEW venture capital initiative established by Invest Northern Ireland will help to boost private sector growth, it has been claimed.

The organisation has introduced a co-investment fund, which will typically offer capital in the £250,000 to £450,000 range, and a development fund, which will operate in the £450,000 to £2m deal size.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said the two new sources of finance will support young, innovative companies to accelerate their development. "Many of our young innovative companies with high growth potential have historically experienced difficulty securing funding from other sources because, whilst they may potentially offer high rewards, they are viewed as high risk," she said.

"The introduction of new potential funding sources, which will be a combination of public and private sector monies, will fill a gap in the local venture capital market and ensure that early stage companies do not suffer from lack of investment.

"Encouraging and supporting the growth of our private sector is a key aim of the Programme for Government.

"Our entrepreneurs need to be supported to grow their innovative companies."

It is intended that further elements, including a loan fund, may be added in due course.