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AIB, Foresight Group launch $79.04m small business fund

written by Bella Palmer
small-business-fund

The Irish lender is to provide $31.62m towards the AIB Foresight SME Impact Fund to support small and medium enterprises helping Ireland’s transition to a low-carbon economy

AIB has launched a green small business fund of up to €75m ($79.04m) with London-based investment management firm, Foresight Group.

The Irish lender is to provide €30m ($31.62m) towards the AIB Foresight SME Impact Fund to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) helping Ireland’s transition to a low-carbon economy, it said in a statement Monday.

The two firms aim to raise up to €75m ($79.04m) for the fund, which would make equity investments of €2m ($2.11m) to €5m ($5.27m) per project.

Foresight, a specialist in green investment, manages more than 300 sustainable assets globally and generates power from more than 3 gigawatts of green energy assets. In 2021, its private equity funds created more than 500 high-quality, sustainable jobs across the UK.

The new AIB Foresight fund will be open to firms in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Foresight partner, James Livingston, said the firm was looking to open an office in Dublin and support Irish SMEs across the whole decarbonisation agenda.

Energy generation is just the start of the low carbon journey, and we need to change the way we live, work, what we consume and how we travel, he said.

He said: We will seek to invest across the spectrum of the low carbon agenda, from companies enabling the circular economy, to advanced technology which supports smart cities, from enlightened consumer businesses taking market share from more environmentally damaging competitors, to the services companies that enable the transition to happen. We look forward to announcing further progress on the partnership shortly.

AIB’s managing director of capital markets, Cathy Bryce, said the lender aims to make green and transition lending account for 70pc of new lending by 2030.

AIB is committed to supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy, reducing our own carbon footprint and helping our customers to do the same, she said.

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