Invest NI 'Ambition' programme sees SMEs grow exports by £12m and create 154 jobs

Gary McDonald Business Editor

21 March, 2023 13:15

INVEST NI says its Ambition to Grow programme, launched last October, has supported 37 companies in the north, helping them to grow exports by £12 million and create 154 jobs.

The £1.3 million support programme focusses on assisting innovative SMEs which are in the earliest stages of their development and have had no support from Invest NI in the past five years.

Support was awarded to applicants on a competitive basis. Applications were assessed and scored, with the highest scoring companies awarded funding, following a successful validation interview.

And the recipient companies were based right across the north, ranging geographically from Dungiven in Co Derry to Drumaness in Co Down.

Invest NI’s executive director of regional business Alan McKeown said: “We designed Ambition to Grow as a new way to attract more companies to seek our support and increase our regional impact in Northern Ireland.

“Following a competitive process we have offered 37 export driven SMEs valuable financial support to create jobs, develop new products and enhance the skills of their teams.

“The support being provided is not solely financial, and the new companies we are working with will now have access to the advice and expertise of teams from across Invest NI including our overseas office network in 29 global locations who will support them to successfully scale their exports and compete globally.”

He added: “What’s great about this programme is the impact these investments will have within local communities. Once in place, the 154 jobs will contribute almost £5million in additional annual salaries to the Northern Ireland economy.

“In addition, the new relationships being forged with businesses that we were previously not engaged with is likely to open conversations around investment in areas such as research & development and the green economy, which provides the opportunity to support these companies to deliver new innovation and business improvements that may not otherwise have happened.”

The companies supported via the Ambition programme were:

AM Civil Engineering Services, Belfast

AM Electrical Services (NI), Dungannon

Architectural Timber Frames, Dungannon

Bradmount, Moneymore

Bró38, Drumaness

Cabinspace, Magherafelt

Cloud Application Services, Omagh

Connect Research, Keady

Dundrum Bay Crab Products, Dundrum

Evander Hopper Design, Cookstown

Fuse Pipeline , Dungannon

Hundred Studio, Belfast

Indie Velo Cheese, Belfast

J. Lennon & Co, Cookstown

Killbran Toy Trailers, Dungannon

Lloyd & Cowan, Moy

MTX Cloud Services, Dungannon

NMK Steel, Magherafelt

Nomadic Watches, Carrickfergus

Novogen Engineering Solutions, Newtownabbey

PCD Contracts, Ballymena

Premier Traffic Systems, Ballynahinch

QSEE, Belfast

Qualcom Managed Services, Mallusk

Rapid Agency (NI), Belfast

Roof Window Specialists, Draperstown

Ross Companies, Ballyclare

Scanmatix, Ballymena

Spadetown Brewery, Lurgan

StileGlass, Newcastle

Studio Idir, Belfast

Team UIQ, Belfast

The Change Innovation Services, Belfast

The Dressmaker’s Apprentice, Bangor

Uptime Labs, Newry, Belfast

Weldex Engineering, Dungannon