Microfinance Ireland (MFI) saw an increase of 9% in the demand for its services last year. Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen released the 2018 annual results at a reception today.
In 2018, the not-for-profit lender, established in 2012 to deliver the Government’s Microenterprise Loan Fund, approved €5.4m in loans to 384 micro businesses, helping to support an additional 856 jobs in the process.
The performance in 2018 brings to 4,808 the number of new jobs supported by MFI since it was established as part of the Government’s initial Action Plan for Jobs. This has been achieved through the provision of €28 million in approved loans to 1,951 businesses.
The results for 2018 shows a continuation of the trend towards a more regionally-balanced spread of loans, with loans approved for businesses in all 26 counties. Counties other than Dublin accounted for 78% of all loans provided.
Launching the results at MFI’s offices in Clonskeagh, Dublin, today Minister Breen said, "Microfinance Ireland plays a very important role in providing an alternative source of funding to micro-enterprises – old and new – who may be having difficulties in accessing finance from commercial providers. The increased demand for its services reflects the continued value of the initiative. MFI’s performance is proof that the Government strategy to create jobs by supporting start-ups and micro-enterprises is delivering results."
Microfinance Ireland CEO, Garrett Stokes added, "Despite an improved economy and availability of bank funding, there is still significant growing demand for Microfinance Ireland loans. This demand is reflected in the records number of businesses seeking support from Microfinance Ireland in 2018. This continued strong growth highlights the ongoing need for the services MFI provides to start-ups and small businesses that are still finding it difficult to obtain credit through the Banks."