Ambition to Grow Scheme

Support will be provided on a competitive basis to eligible small, micro and medium-sized businesses that are not currently engaged with Invest NI, with the top scoring applicants being offered funding up to a maximum of £45,000 broken down as follows:
  • up to £30,000 towards new employment within the business.
  • up to £10,000 towards business development activities at a support rate of up to 50% of eligible costs which can include expenditure on market, product, or skills development.
  •  £5,000 on the completion of an Export Health Check, Development of an Export Marketing Plan, and completion of an Innovate NI Self-Assessment.
Financial support payments are not up-front and are dependent on the execution of specific activities as outlined in any offer of support such as job creation or exporting.



The closing date for applications is Friday 12 January 2024 at 12 noon

  • Eligible Businesses Must:

    • have the ambition to grow
    • be ambitious, innovative businesses with the ambition to grow sales.
    • have a product or service with a strong unique selling point to take to markets outside Northern Ireland
    • be able to outline the potential for new employment within the business and demonstrate how these new roles will contribute to growth of the business into markets outside Northern Ireland.
    • be able to demonstrate the need for government support for new employment and market development activities
    • have annual turnover under £1m or sales to customers outside Northern Ireland of less than £300,000.

  • The following businesses are not eligible to apply:

    • Businesses already in receipt of or intending to gain other government support for the project.
    • Businesses that have an outstanding liability to Invest NI brought about through grant clawback proceedings. If a satisfactory repayment plan is in place, the business may apply for consideration.
    • Businesses or any member of Senior Management within the business that are subject to a current bankruptcy order, Individual Voluntary Arrangement, Company Voluntary Arrangement, County Court Judgement, or Company Director Disqualification.
    • Businesses involved in agricultural production, fisheries, and aquaculture (production and processing), steel, coal, shipbuilding, synthetic fibres, transport and its infrastructure, energy (its generation, distribution and infrastructure) wholesale, retail (including on-line) & distribution.
    • Applications which include or relate to activities that Invest Northern Ireland considers as ineligible or as involving an unacceptable reputational risk, such as gambling, tobacco products and drug-based products, which are not authorised as medicines.

  • How to apply:

    Only businesses which are not Invest NI client businesses are eligible to take part in Ambition to Grow.

    Click here to register

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