How do I raise funds to keep my export drive going?

My business is turning over close to €1m and we started to export approximately one year ago which has become quite successful. It has become evident to me that I will have to raise significant funds to expand and I am not quite sure how to go about this.

Well done on the growth and in particular the export element. Sales volume is generally driven by population and sometimes to get really strong sales you have to look at overseas markets where populations can be much larger.

While there are lots of traditional sources you should be talking with like banks, etc, I would advise that you first engage with Enterprise Ireland if you don’t have a relationship with it already. Its focus is on upskilling your business, with particular emphasis on the export market, and it has great supports and experts it can assign to your business to help you.

A lot of the work that Enterprise Ireland does is helping companies to finance growth and you may find it directs you to some of the investor networks which are in the marketplace like the Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN), which is a group of people who have said they are willing to invest money in specific Irish sectors.

Many of the investors will focus investment on one or two sectors they know well and might be able to bring expertise to the company too. In the right circumstances, Enterprise Ireland may be able to provide additional assistance alongside your investor, but that depends on many factors and particularly, your eligibility for support.

Most importantly, neither a private investor nor any state agency will consider your business for support unless you have a robust business plan and a clear vision of where you want to take your business operation. So first you need to get to work on this so your initial interaction with any state agency is professional and they understand the opportunity which exists in your business. That will be your first step to getting buy-in from anyone to support your business.

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