Home | News and blog | Blog | 14072014 ProSteel OJ

Oliver Jenkins on unlocking potential and winning contracts

For many Welsh SMEs the costs of servicing larger contracts can be a key growth issue often impacted by the availability of short-term funding and working capital. 

Such costs can include one-off debtor finance, stock purchases, project finance and security for advanced-payment, performance and warranty bonds.

Short-term finance support

In April this year the Welsh Government launched the £20 million Wales Capital Growth Fund, which is managed by Finance Wales, to provide Welsh SMEs with the short-term funding and working capital they need when bidding for new contracts.

The five-year fund allows for Welsh SMEs to apply for loans of between £50,000 and £2 million for terms of up to 18 months.

Whether a business is looking to expand in domestic markets or considering potential export opportunities, the availability of this additional short-term finance is excellent news.

Winning high-profile contracts

Our investment in Pro Steel Engineering is an example of how the Fund can help.  The Newport-based structural steel engineering specialists were able to win a landmark contract with the Fund’s backing.

Pro Steel is now using a £1 million loan from Finance Wales to deliver an essential part of the £200 million remodelling project at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.

Winning the contract to undertake this high-profile redevelopment is a real milestone for the business and potentially a huge springboard for its future success.  It’s also showcasing what Welsh businesses can achieve.

Unlocking potential

Like many SMEs in Wales, Pro Steel Engineering is a young, ambitious company with a highly skilled workforce led by a strong management team.

The potential was there but the business needed an injection of short-term working capital to give it a competitive edge in the market.

Many established Welsh businesses have the capacity and technical know-how to beat the competition and win new contracts. They’re often shortlisted at tender stage, but lack the cash reserves to set up the bond facilities or fund the working capital requirements that are needed.

The Wales Capital Growth Fund is changing this picture and providing more and more Welsh SMEs with the backing they need to unlock their potential.

What next?

If you think your business could benefit from an injection of  short-term finance then contact us today to speak to one of our local Investment Executives.