Microfinance Ireland’s Annual Report and Accounts for 2017 have been published today and show that €22.6m of loans have been approved under the Microenterprise Loan Fund since 2012, supporting 3,952 jobs in borrowing companies throughout Ireland.
Microfinance Ireland is a not-for-profit lender established in 2012 to deliver the Government’s Microenterprise Loan Fund. Microfinance Ireland benefits from a guarantee funded by the European Union under the Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EASI).
Microfinance Ireland provides an alternative source of funding to micro-enterprises – both new and existing - who may be having difficulties in accessing finance from commercial providers. It ultimately supports the creation and/or retention of jobs. Micro-enterprises are defined as any business with less than 10 employees and annual turnover of less than €2M.
Significantly, almost 80% of Microfinance Ireland loan approvals go to microenterprises outside of Dublin which the Government say is vital in supporting it’s target of creating 135,000 jobs outside of Dublin by 2020.
Speaking today, Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen said, "The work of MFI is continuing to have a positive impact across Ireland, contributing to the Government’s objectives in relation to regional economic development and job creation. Importantly, most of its customers continue to be start-ups and from vulnerable sectors such as youth, unemployed, females, migrants and seniors."
He added, "In March last year MFI was recognised internationally by the European Investment Fund achieving best in class under the European Commission’s European Code of Good Conduct for microfinance provision. I congratulate Garrett Stokes, CEO of Microfinance Ireland and his team on their continued good work."