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Forum on Alternative Finance for SMEs: 2021 and Beyond

From: 05 May 2021 - 12:00 To: 06 May 2021 - 15:00

Forum on Alternative Finance for SMEs: 2021 and Beyond

This event will provide a unique forum to discuss alternative funding sources for SMEs, both in Ireland and internationally.

Focusing on non-bank asset finance and equity finance, the event will expand understanding on (1) the market impact of different forms of SME funding (venture capital, business angel, non-bank lending and peer to peer funding); (2) the funding gaps that still remain for SMEs; and (3) issues which are important for the sustainability of these alternative forms of finance.

The event will combine internationally recognized, evidence-based, high-impact research with the knowledge and experience of alternative finance providers and users of this finance.

Register Here 

This is a free event. For further information or queries, please contact:

The event will run over two half days on the 5th and 6th of May 2021.

Speaker bios and additional information can be found here.


DaY 1 Schedule: May 5th 2021

12:20 - 12:30

Welcome by Prof. Thia Hennessy, Dean of Cork University Business School


Non-Bank Asset Finance: The Providers and the Users
Chair: Prof. Edward Shinnick, Cork University Business School

12:30 –12:50

The Market for Non-Bank Finance in Ireland: An Emerging Market 
Eimear McGeown, Cork University Business School

12:50 –13:10

Insights from the UK Market for Non-Bank Finance: Lending to Small firms, Crowd funding and P2P
Prof Marc Cowling, University of Derby

13:10 –13:30

The Realities of Servicing the Irish Market: How do we Make it More Sustainable?
Ken Murnaghan, CEO Finance Ireland


Coffee Break

13:40 –13:00

Benefits of Digital SME Lending over Traditional Methods
Colin Canny, Head of Originations & Jamie Heaslip, Head of Brand Marketing - Flender

14:00 –14:20

Funding Gaps and the Role of Microfinance Ireland
Garrett Stokes, Microfinance Ireland 

14:20 - 14:40

Brexit, COVID-19 and the Funding Landscape for SMEs 2021 and Beyond
Michael Meade & Shane O’Neill, Davy Corporate Finance

14:40 -15:00

Q&A with panel of speakers

Day 2 Schedule: May 6th 2021


Equity Finance: Policy and Practice 
Chair: Dr. Bernadette Power Cork University Business School

12:30 –12:50

The Performance and Survival of Equity Financed High Tech Start-ups in Ireland: Lessons from the Irish experience
Dr. Geraldine Ryan, Cork University Business School

12:50 –13:10

Recent Lessons from the UK Government VC Market and Meeting Future Low Carbon Investment Challenges
Prof. Robyn Owen, Middlesex University

13:10 –13:30

Venture Capital: Its Impact 2021 and Beyond
Sarah Jane Larkin, Irish Venture Capital Association


Coffee Break

13:40 –14:00

HBAN Network: Business Angel Funding and the Boole Investment Syndicate
Larry O’ Donoghue, Cork BIC

14:00 –14:20

The Equity Funding Landscape for SMEs 2021 and Beyond
Dr. Fergal McAleavey, Ireland Strategic Investment Fund

14:20 - 14:50

Q&A with panel of speakers



To register to attend, please complete the registration form here

Note: Conference UCC will be in touch with registered delegates to process refunds for the cancelled event in April 2020. If you have any queries, please contact 

Local Organisers: Dr. Bernadette Power, Prof. Edward Shinnick and Eimear McGeown

Committee: Dr. Bernadette Power, Eimear McGeown, Prof. Edward Shinnick, Dr. Geraldine Ryan and Dr. Jane Power who are all researching the impact of alternative finance to SMEs.

Sponsors: School of Economics, Cork University Business School, The Entrepreneurship Group, Cork University Business School and Irish Academy of Finance.