Lending limit doubled for new NI Small Business Loan Fund

26th November, 2018

The new NI Small Business Loan Fund can now provide loans of up to £100,000 for small businesses, sole traders and partnerships that find it difficult to access funding through traditional sources. This is double its previous lending limit of £50,000.


Since it launched in 2013, the Fund has supported almost 400 local businesses by providing over £7.5million in loans. The new fund has an increased loan level of £100,000 with the potential to lend over £8million to local SMEs, helping them to invest, grow and create jobs. Start-up enterprises can obtain initial loans of up to £15,000.

Ulster Community Finance Ltd (UCF) has been appointed manager of the new fund.

Making the announcement, William McCulla, Invest Northern Ireland’s Director of Corporate Finance said: “The first Small Business Loan Fund made a significant contribution to small businesses in Northern Ireland, ensuring SMEs could access the type of finance needed to support their growth. The new Fund will continue this success, providing much needed finance to businesses that find it difficult to access funding through traditional sources.”

Harry McDaid, UCFs CEO said: “We are delighted to be appointed as managers of the second Small Business Loan Fund. The first Fund supported a wide range of businesses across Northern Ireland, providing scope for capital investment, new product development and geographic expansion. In the process, jobs were created and employment protected.

“Companies such as Portadown based Iota used the fund to develop and manufacture its innovative negative pressure unit, aimed at contractors operating within the asbestos removal industry. The company is currently working to generate sales in Canada, New Zealand and Europe.

“I would encourage small businesses with a legitimate funding need to get in touch to see how we can support their ambitious business plans.”

The Fund is part of Invest Northern Ireland’s Access to Finance Portfolio and is delivered in partnership with Enterprise Northern Ireland.

Try Our Loan Calculator

Select a business loan type

For start up businesses trading less than 2 years

For existing businesses trading more than 2 years

Loan Amount


Loan Term

3 Years

Monthly Repayments


Total Amount Repayable


Representative APR


What can I apply for Funding For?

Business Start Up Cost

Expansion or Growth Finance

Working Capital

New Product or Market Development

Match Funding

New Asset Purchases