Want to know more about our support?

Looking for customers in new markets?

Do you have an idea for a business with export or global potential? If so, we have a range of advisory, capability development and financial support that will help get your business off the ground.

You can also access our free business advisory service.

It is on hand to:

  • Offer tailored advice and guidance
  • Signpost you to the most appropriate start-up support for your business
  • Provide information on all of Northern Ireland's business support organisations that could support your business

Financial and advisory support

We also offer a range of financial and advisory support for start-ups with export focused business ideas.

We can help you:

  • Develop your strategy
  • Develop new product ideas
  • Sell outside Northern Ireland
  • Manage your people and develop their skills
  • Benefit from IT and implement e-commerce systems
  • Manage your energy and waste

You can contact our Business advisory service on 0800 181 4422, or contact us.

Funding for start-ups with export potential

Our start-up financial support is focused on those businesses that intend to sell outside Northern Ireland. We have five funds, part of our Access to Finance initiative, totaling circa £170 million to help SMEs with high growth potential.

These provide debt and equity investment and include:

  • NI Small Business Loan Fund: £8m fund that provides unsecured loans to individuals, private companies and social enterprises in the small, medium and micro enterprise size range. 
  • Growth Loan Fund (ERDF): £30m fund that provides unsecured loan finance to SMEs that can demonstrate strong growth and export potential. 
  • Growth Finance Fund£30m loan fund designed to support export focused Northern Ireland SMEs demonstrating growth or strong growth potential. 
  • techstart NI (ERDF): £30m integrated suite of funds and support for entrepreneurs, seed and early stage SMEs and university spin-outs. 
  • CoFund NI II (ERDF): £70m venture capital fund that co-invests alongside business angels and other private investors. 

Growth Loan Fund (ERDF), techstart NI (ERDF) and Co-Fund NI II (ERDF) are partly financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the EU Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014-2020

Download our Access to Finance Booklet (PDF) for further details on loan and equity funds currently available.


nibusinessinfo.co.uk is a free service offered by Invest Northern Ireland. It is the official online channel for business advice and guidance in Northern Ireland. Every day thousands of people visit the site for the latest business support, expert advice and new business opportunities.

Key support to guide you through your export journey includes:

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  • Find new markets

    Research competitors and markets

    We can help you to plan your export activities effectively.