Business loan

Martin Races to Success with the NI Small Business Loan Fund

The fund is managed by Ulster Community Finance Ltd (UCF) on behalf of Invest Northern Ireland and set up in partnership with Enterprise Northern Ireland. UCF is a subsidiary of the social enterprise organization Community Finance Ireland. Small businesses, sole traders and partnerships looking to grow their business can benefit from loans of up to £100,000, while start-up businesses can get initial loans of up to £15,000.

Solopreneur, Emmet Martin, established Martin Hurls in 2017 after identifying a market for high-quality, handcrafted throws. As a child, he worked alongside his father repairing broken hurleys, then began using ash trees from the family farm to make them. As well as selling directly to GAA club members in Ireland, he has exported throws to destinations including Belgium, Italy, the United States and Australia. It has recently branched out into making handcrafted medal and keepsake boxes.

Martin Hurls secured £10,000 from the NI Small Business Loan Fund for working capital to enable the company to meet product demand and buy stock. Ulster Community Finance Ltd Managing Director Dónal Traynor said: “Emmet is an inspiring young entrepreneur who has taken his hobby and love of sport and turned it into a viable business. His passion and drive have already led to impressive growth and reach. The fast and flexible funding offered by the Northern Ireland Small Business Loan Fund is perfect to support the next stage of his professional journey, allowing him to focus more on sales and relationship building whilst ensuring that levels of production can meet demand.

Managing Director of Ulster Community Finance Ltd, Dónal Traynor, William McCulla, Corporate Finance Director of Invest NI and Emmet Martin, founder of Martin Hurls who recently secured £10,000 from the NI Small Business Loan Fund for its working capital.

Emmet Martin of Martin Hurls said: “From the start, maintaining product quality has been a top priority for me. With demand for high quality, customizable lances remaining high, NISBLF funding will allow me to meet this demand and explore new business development opportunities.

“The NISBLF team recognized my growth ambitions for Martin Hurls and were extremely supportive in terms of advice and ideas.”

William McCulla, Director of Corporate Finance at Invest NI, said: “It’s great to see so many small businesses in County Antrim benefiting from loans from the Northern Ireland Small Business Loan Fund. Hopefully the success of grantees like Martin Hurls encourages other companies to connect with UCF and realize their own growth ambitions.