The main objectives of the Investment Readiness Support ("IRS") scheme were to improve SMEs' ability to secure investment finance, in order to further grow their businesses in the areas of new products, markets or increasing employment.
The project was available across Lowland and Upland Scotland. The Investment Readiness Support programme delivers advice and financial support to companies requiring professional help to produce growth strategies and link these to investment propositions, thus improving their ability to secure, and effectively use equity investment.
IRS aied to address the following issues surrounding "access to finance for SMEs":
The project provided grant support to participating companies of up to £10,000, on at least a 1:1 leveraged basis, towards eligible consultancy costs. The maximum grant rate was generally 30% for existing companies and 50% for start ups.
The project targeted SMEs who can clearly demonstrated high growth potential. It did so through close integration with the SE local delivery offices, Business Gateway providers, LINC and the SE National High Growth Start Up Unit. IRS was complementary to other existing business development and investment initiatives across Scotland.