Research by Ortus has shown NI businesses received just £42.4m of the total lent (£3bn) through the scheme in the past year.
Northern Ireland had the lowest ratio of EFG loans per 10,000 businesses of all the areas covered by the scheme, at 23.8 loans per 10,000 businesses.
This figure is less than half the ratio lent to businesses in Wales (54.5) and in Scotland (60.1).
Jon Salisbury, managing director at Ortus Secured Finance (pictured above), said: “Not enough small businesses in Northern Ireland are benefiting from available funding under EFG.
- Business lender allocated £4m under EFG programme
- Only 1.5% of EFG scheme funds SMEs in Northern Ireland
- Small pub companies see turnover growth fall behind their larger rivals
“Northern Ireland has some great opportunities for lenders and a great entrepreneurial culture so it is a shame to see so few small businesses in the region using the government’s EFG scheme to their advantage.
“Northern Irish businesses may be missing out from EFG funding because they may not be aware they are eligible for support.
“Some may not even be aware that EFG is available in Northern Ireland.
“With EFG funding still not fully reaching Northern Ireland, alternative finance providers can help fill the void in funding and provide small businesses with much needed access to funding.”