Funding for entrepreneurs

Barclays and Catalyst Inc set to spark innovation

Northern Ireland’s biggest burgeoning tech hub gets access to funding, networking and scale-up support.

  • Catalyst will use Barclays domain experts to help create a peer-driven community for start-ups
  • Barclays £100m fund to support Northern Irish businesses with a turnover of less than £25m

Barclays has announced a major sponsorship deal with Catalyst Inc, Northern Ireland’s biggest burgeoning tech hub. The announcement highlights the bank’s commitment to supporting the ambitions of local high-growth businesses and entrepreneurs.

Catalyst Inc (previously Northern Ireland Science Park) was established in April 2002, and is now widely recognised as the key local driver and hub for entrepreneurial activity within Northern Ireland’s knowledge economy through Connect.

As part of the new partnership, Barclays will provide domain experts and host events to support Connect’s various programmes and the organisation’s aim to develop a peer-driven community to support startup businesses and scale them.

Tailored funding
Connect’s network of entrepreneurs will also have access to Barclays' High Growth and Entrepreneur offering, which includes tailored funding on both the business and personal side.

John Mathers, Corporate Development Director, Barclays in Northern Ireland, explains how the partnership with Catalyst Inc has developed:
“We share Catalyst Inc’s ambition to support our innovative entrepreneurs, and we’ve been impressed with the impact Connect has had, particularly in recent years.

“Running any fast-moving, high-growth company takes substantial investment, from both an emotional and financial perspective. It’s an investment we at Barclays want to support. High-growth businesses have a hugely positive impact; they create new jobs, new opportunities for investors and they help to galvanise economic growth as a whole.

“That’s without even exploring the difference these companies can make to our day-to-day lives, through innovations in technology, medicine, communications and so much more.

Mr Mathers adds: “Barclays recently launched a £100m fund to support small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Northern Ireland, making up to £100m available to local businesses with a turnover of less than £25m.

“Through this loan fund, our High Growth and Entrepreneurs proposition and our involvement with Catalyst Inc, we’re excited to play our part in supporting Northern Ireland’s entrepreneurial talent, and look forward to the positive impact on jobs, taxes and wealth that will bring to Northern Ireland.”

Welcoming the sponsorship Steve Orr, Director of Connect at Catalyst Inc, said “We believe that the talent and ambition of entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland has the power to change the world. We’re here to make that happen, and through Connect we provide the way for our most experienced people to effectively and efficiently volunteer their time to share their experiences, contacts and collective intelligence to give our entrepreneurs an advantage.

“We are delighted to have Barclays as a partner working with us to support our entrepreneurs and helping us to achieve our vision for Northern Ireland to have one of the most entrepreneurial economies in Europe by 2030.”


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