Jobs boost as Wales Micro-business Loan Fund helps create 295 jobs
Eighty-seven Welsh businesses had taken out loans totalling
£1.9 million from the Wales Micro-business Loan Fund by the end of
June 2014 helping to create 281 jobs and protect a further 264
These loans also enabled the businesses to secure an additional
£2.4 million, injecting £4.3 million into the Welsh economy.
Ambitious businesses in Wales’ hospitality, retail, tourism and
wholesale sectors led the way, benefitting from over 40% of the
loans (£870,000), creating 115 jobs and protecting 78 jobs.
Welcoming Finance Wales’ announcement, Economy, Science and
Transport Minister, Edwina Hart said: “The fund was a key
recommendation from the Micro-business Task and Finish Group and
set up to complement the micro loans already available from the
Wales JEREMIE Fund. The fund is helping to support the growth
of Welsh micro-businesses and start-ups and making a real
“Micro-businesses make a significant contribution to the Welsh
economy and I’m encouraged to see the hospitality, retail, tourism
and wholesale sectors taking advantage of what the fund can offer,
investing in their businesses and creating jobs.”
Five social enterprises have also taken advantage of loans
totalling £100,000 from the part of the Wales Micro-business Loan
Fund earmarked for Welsh social enterprises, boosting employment in
the sector by 14 jobs and protecting 9 jobs.
Eligible Welsh small and medium-sized businesses can apply for
micro loans of between £1,000 and £50,000 from Finance Wales.
The loans can help with a range of investment needs, including
start-up costs, capital expenditure and stock purchases.
Nicola Edwards, Micro Loans Fund Manager at Finance Wales said:
“Thanks to the Wales Micro-business Loan Fund Finance Wales has
been able to provide micro loans to businesses in a wider range of
sectors and to certain sectors, for the first time and businesses
in these sectors are certainly making the most of the
“The right package of financial support can transform small
businesses’ prospects and the loans we’ve made so far from the
Wales Micro-business Loan Fund have helped to unlock an additional
Examples of the loans Finance Wales has made from the Fund include
The Looking Glass Ice Cream Parlour in Llandudno and Cardiff
Residential Estates, Cardiff.
The Looking Glass Ice Cream Parlour, Llandudno
Setting up in business together was a long-term ambition for
partners Jenny Walls and David Page and a £30,000 loan from Finance
Wales together with their own savings helped them to open The
Looking Glass Ice Cream Parlour in Llandudno.
“My partner Jenny and I had always wanted to work together and were
keen to use our hospitality and catering skills, so opening The
Looking Glass has been the culmination of a dream. We spotted
an opportunity to open our own Gelato ice cream parlour in
Llandudno and needed some capital in addition to our savings to get
it off the ground.
“Finance Wales’ loan helped us to secure premises and buy the
ice cream-making equipment we needed. So far our ice cream is
popular with both locals and tourists. We’re open all year
round and so we’ll be selling a range of home-made products in the
winter, hosting children’s parties and we plan to move into the
wholesale business in the next year,” David explained.
Cardiff Residential Estates, Cardiff
Experienced estate agent, Lee Bryce used a £50,000 micro loan
from the Wales Micro-business Loan Fund to establish Cardiff
Commenting on how the loan has helped him, Mr Bryce said: “I’ve
held a number of positions at well-known Cardiff estate agencies
and had wanted to open up my own independent agency for some
time. We offer busy clients a tailored service covering all
aspects of the buying and selling process.
“I combined the loan from Finance Wales with financial support
from my family to set up and market the business. It helped
with web site costs as well as the costs of producing brochures and
also provided the working capital I needed. We ‘go the extra
mile’ for our clients and they’ve recommended us and this has
helped us to expand our business.”
Wales 1 Day Nursery, Magor
A new children’s nursery, Wales 1 Day Nursery, is opening in
Magor on 18th August thanks to a £25,000 micro loan from
Finance Wales. Peter and Victoria Buttle, the couple behind
Cardiff’s successful Appletree Nurseries, are opening the new
The Buttles have now received 3 micro loans
from Finance Wales. They used the first to open their Cardiff
Bay nursery in 2009, their second to open the nursery in Magor
and a third to set up another Appletree Nursery at Llanishen
Primary School in Cardiff and to refurbish Cardiff Bay. The
business has expanded over the last 5 years and now employs 26
trained staff including the 4 new members of staff at Magor.
“We aim to provide conveniently located
nurseries that provide the children in our care with a happy, safe
and inspirational environment to play and learn. The three
micro loans we’ve received from Finance Wales have provided the
injection of capital we needed to establish and expand our business
and opening our nursery in Magor is a significant achievement for
us. Finance Wales understands our business plan, they have a
simple, speedy application process and we value the support they’ve
provided us with,” explained Peter Buttle.
The Welsh Government anticipates that the Wales Micro-business
Loan Fund will support at least 300 businesses throughout its
5-year investment period.
Micro loans are also available from the £150 million Wales