On 4 November 2013 I announced the establishment of a new fund of €125 million which will be managed by MML Growth Capital Partners Ireland. This Fund was the first announcement under the Development Capital Scheme. The establishment of the Development Capital Scheme is a critical action under the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs and has the objective of increasing the availability of risk capital and closing the ‘equity gap’ experienced by SMEs seeking risk capital in the region of €2 million - €12 million.
The Development Capital Scheme forms part of the suite of new finance measures put in place through the Action Plan for Jobs to increase the availability of funding for SMEs. A total of €75 million in funding has been made available through my Department for the Development Capital Scheme with the aim of leveraging a minimum total of €150 million in additional funding from the private sector. Under the Scheme, commitments were made to 3 funds that will provide equity, quasi-equity or debt of between €2 million and €12 million to established investee companies. A further two funds will be announced in the near term.
Each of the funds established under the Development Capital Scheme is aimed at providing funding for the mid-sized, mostly export-oriented businesses with clear growth and development prospects. The MML fund is a general fund which has no particular sectoral focus. It will target investments opportunities in a wide variety of growth orientated sectors including manufacturing, technology, engineering, food, life sciences, services and electronics. Enterprise Ireland invests in these funds on the same terms as the private sector. The investment managers are responsible for making investment decisions within a clearly defined investment strategy over the life time of the fund. I look forward to seeing investments in Irish companies in the near term.