SBCI Impact Statement for 2016


SBCI Impact Brochure 2016The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI), which was established by Government to introduce lower cost-cost funding, more flexible and SME-friendly loan products and new lenders to the Irish SME lending market, recently published an update on its progress to end December 2016.


2017 has also seen the SBCI expand its operations to include risk-sharing and guarantee products, the first of which was the SBCI Agriculture Cash Flow Support scheme. The success of this scheme in delivering €150 million into the Agriculture sector has demonstrated how Guarantee products could improve access to finance for Irish SMEs.


The appointment of the SBCI as operator and manager of the Government’s Credit Guarantee Scheme will further enhance access to finance for SMEs and will establish the SBCI as the primary conduit for risk sharing products in Ireland.


Key highlights of SBCI’s progress to end December 2016 are the following:


  • 12,593 SMEs across Ireland drew down SBCI loans totalling €544m, at an average discount of 1.15% versus market rates
  • 67,150 Irish jobs were supported by SBCI loans
  • 84% of SBCI loans were used by Irish SMEs to grow their businesses, 11% were for working capital, and 5% were to refinance loans owed to banks exiting the Irish market


SBCI funding benefited a wide range of sectors, from agriculture, manufacturing, food, retail and construction through to health, professional services and transport.


Click here to download the SBCI Impact Statement for 2016.

Bizfest 2017


Bizfest 1


Bizfest is a free networking event aimed at helping Irish companies to develop their networks and expand their business. “Look further, think bigger, be ambitious” is the theme of this year’s event which takes place on the 21st of June at the National Opera House, Wexford.


Now in its 4th year, Bizfest 2017 will be hosted by the south-east region Local Enterprise Office’s and Enterprise Ireland. The event is sponsored by Bank of Ireland.


Bizfest aims to provide an opportunity for owners, managers and their key staff across Ireland to make connections while immersing themselves in the experience, entrepreneurial spirit and stories of entrepreneurs.


Bizfest has 3 elements; The first element is a networking lunch, the second is an exhibition area which introduces attendees to services which may benefit their business. The third element is a panel event featuring unique business people who have experience on the local, national and international stage.


This year’s panel includes Julie Sinnamon CEO of Enterprise Ireland, Patsy Carney CEO of Eirgen, Jim Hughes CEO of Innovate and Paul Jacob Owner of Smart Storage.


The event is hosted by Newstalk presenter and Wexford native, Ivan Yates.


Speaking about the event Tom Banville, Head of Enterprise at LEO Wexford on behalf of the South East Local Enterprise Office’s said; “The Local Enterprise Office Networking Events are popular and engaging events which generate much interest from businesses and help make connections happen. Which in turn develop key relationships, boost revenues and help maintain and create jobs”.


Bizfest 2017 is co-hosted by Bank of Ireland, speaking at the launch Andrew Owen, Branch Manager in Wexford said; “We are delighted to support Bizfest 2017 and would encourage all businesses from the area to participate in the event. This first class networking forum will provide them with a fantastic opportunity to make connections with their peers across the country who will attend this event.”


Panellist Jim Hughes co-founder and CEO of Innovate said “Making the right connections is a vital part of doing business in this country. This is a very useful networking event for Ireland’s enterprise community.”


To book a free place at Bizfest 2017; e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 053 9196020.


Tickets to Bizfest are free of charge and can be ;booked via the LEO Wexford website:


For further information contact: Wexford Local Enterprise office;

e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 053 9196020

Waterford Micro Business Network Website Launch


Waterford Micro Buisness Network Website Launch Poster


Waterford City & County Mayor, Cllr. Adam Wyse will officially launch the new redesigned Waterford Micro Business Network website, followed by Ronan Cleary from Eagle Dreams Digital Media who will interactively outline the benefits of an effective website for communicating information. 


Book yourr free place at:

Call for Apprenticeship Proposals open until 1st September 2017


The Minister for Education and Skills, Mr Richard Bruton TD and the Minister of State for Skills, Research and Innovation, Mr John Halligan TD recently welcomed the opening of the Apprenticeship Council’s second call for new apprenticeship proposals.


The Department are calling on employers to come forward with apprenticeship proposals. For companies, the skills that will be learned by these apprentices will be invaluable to their future growth plans. They will help exporting companies based in Ireland to scale their business, to grow their exports and to take advantage of the opportunities offered by a global economy. For the apprentice, they will be embedded in enterprises and will get the chance to learn skills and get hands on experience. It will give young people the opportunity to acquire applied, technical skills within a variety of sectors, and provide a very practical grounding which will stand to them as they move through their career and take advantage of promotional opportunities.


13 further new programmes will get under way this year in various sectors such as medical devices, polymer processing, culinary and financial services.  The second call, announced last week, will call for more apprenticeship proposals. The closing date for new Apprenticeship Proposals is 1st September 2017.


See for further details. 


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