Posted on 16 January 2013
In a Written Statement issued today, Business Minister Edwina Hart has announced that Professor Dylan Jones-Evans, Director: Centre for Enterprise and Innovation Education at the University of Wales, will lead a Review into access to business finance for SMEs in Wales.
Launched by The Welsh Government, the independent review will establish whether High Street banks are meeting the funding needs of Welsh SMEs and examine other potential sources of finance to support the business community in Wales.
Speaking of Professor Jones-Evans appointment, the Minister said:
“I am delighted that Professor Dylan Jones-Evans has agreed to undertake this review of access to business finance in Wales and anticipate there will be important findings for economic policy.
Access to external finance for business start-ups and investment for growth in Welsh businesses is fundamental to sustainable economic growth. The Welsh Government is particularly keen to ensure that SMEs in Wales can access the finance they need to sustain their current operations and support their growth ambitions.”
Speaking about the Review, Professor Jones-Evans said:
“There is considerable concern that the economic recovery in Wales is being held back because of the lack of capital for business to develop and grow. Whilst SMEs are arguing that they cannot access funding from financial institutions, organisations such as banks are saying the opposite, suggesting that there is plenty of funding available to support the sector.
This review will try and move past the rhetoric and examine the reality of the situation, the solutions required to getting capital flowing into the Welsh business community, and what the Welsh Government can do to facilitate and support this process.”
Professor Jones-Evans plans to discuss these challenges with financial institutions, academics and other key stakeholders in the supply of money to business and is urging as many businesses as possible to respond positively to the call for evidence over the next few weeks.
He said: “It is critical that SMEs have the opportunity to present the challenges they have faced during the last three years in obtaining the necessary funding for growth.”
The Review is to be carried out in two parts. The first will examine the extent that High Street banks meet the funding needs of Welsh businesses, focusing primarily on the requirements of SMEs, and the second will look at alternative sources of funding and the role that the Welsh Government can play in facilitating their development. The Minister has asked to receive a report in autumn 2013.
Throughout the Review, Professor Jones-Evans will be supported by Welsh Government officials and a voluntary advisory group comprising of business leaders and financial experts.
Further information on the call for evidence can be found on the Welsh Governments website, please go to www.wales.gov.uk/businessandeconomy
A full press release can be found on the Welsh Government’s Website