There’s a new online portal to help Irish businesses find funding

27 May 2022

ISME chair Margaret O’Rourke Doherty and Swoop CEO and founder Andrea Reynolds. Image: Lensmen

Finance Finder, launched by ISME and Swoop, aims to be a one-stop shop for businesses looking for funding.

A new funding matching tool is set to make it easier for small and medium-sized businesses in Ireland to access finance.

Launched by ISME, the Irish SME Association, the new Finance Finder portal aims to act as a one-stop shop for businesses looking for funding to expand, improve cashflow, refinance debt, purchase property, acquire a business, or invest in a new market.

The platform can also be used to secure funding for big-ticket items such as vehicles, buildings and equipment.

ISME’s Finance Finder is built on technology from Irish-founded start-up Swoop, which has developed a funding and savings platform for SMEs. Swoop helps businesses find the right funding across loans, equity and grants, and to identify and make savings easier, all ‘in one fell swoop’.

The tool from ISME and Swoop is available online and open to all businesses in Ireland. It comes on the back of what ISME describes as a hard economic time for Irish SMEs reeling from effects of the pandemic and the ongoing war in Ukraine.

“SME confidence remains constrained, in an environment of high input costs and the war in Ukraine. Many balance sheets remain unrepaired after the pandemic,” said ISME CEO Neil McDonnell, adding that some SMEs continue to finance themselves through bootstrapping.

“However, we also see opportunity in many sectors, with the OECD noting that Ireland has twice as many business creators as the EU average. 2022 will be a year of opportunity for those enterprises willing to be bold in adversity.”

ISME’s Bank Watch report for the fourth quarter of 2021 highlighted the challenges faced by SMEs, with loan refusal rates at 33pc and the number of surveyed SMEs finding it difficult to access finance rising from 65pc to 68pc.

Andrea Reynolds, CEO and founder of Swoop, said Ireland’s SMEs need better and fast access to funding, and Swoop can sweep in to help that in that journey.

“Swoop’s mission is to make access to finance a simple and smooth journey for all businesses no matter where they are located or what stage of their lifecycle,” said Reynolds, who previously spoke about this at Silicon Republic’s Future Human event.

“Swoop’s technology brings the entire funding market together in one place and our expert team manages the funding process from start to finish. As an Irish company, Swoop is proud to be working with ISME to deliver the funding that Irish SMEs need, when they need it.”

Last October, the fintech founded in 2017 received £2.5m from a fund established by RBS.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic