A fund has loaned more than £1m to businesses across the region since launching last September.
The North West Fund for Micro Loans said it has supported 28 businesses including Essential English in Manchester city centre and Greener Surfacing in Rossendale.
The £3m fund offers loans between £25,000 to £50,000 to businesses at all stages in their development.
North West Fund chief executive Cliff Maylor said: “We’ve been really impressed with the success of the Micro Fund so far and the demand from north qest businesses looking for smaller investments has been very high.
"Together with all our fund managers, we will continue to support the region’s growing businesses at a time when traditional forms of funding still remain difficult to obtain.”
David Martin, fund manager at Business Finance Solutions, which manages the Micro Loans fund alongside Merseyside Special Investment Fund (MSIF), added: “The Micro Fund was designed to provide businesses with a boost so they can expand into new markets, invest in new products or take on more staff.
"Our introducer network has been fantastic and we’ve been working with some excellent organisations over the past few months. We now look forward to supporting more entrepreneurs across the region.”
Lisa Greenhalgh, chief operating officer at MSIF said: “We know from experience that there is significant demand for alternative funding sources and one of the key differentiators of this fund is that it can support start-ups as well as companies looking to expand.
"New businesses find it very difficult to obtain funding from traditional lenders yet they are key to boosting the local economy.
"The North West Fund for Micro Loans has an important role to play in creating a long-term impact on the region’s economy through business growth and job creation.”
Pictured:Essential English Centre, Manchester, supported with a £25k loan.