Minister for Trade, Employment and Business, Pat Breen TD welcomes the publication of the Microfinance Ireland Progress Report

23rd November 2017

Microfinance loan funding supports over 3,300 jobs

Micro enterprises outside of Dublin account for 79% of loans

Pat Breen TD, Minister for Trade, Employment and Business, has today welcomed the publication of the Microfinance Ireland report for Q3, 2017. The latest report shows that €21m of loans have been approved under the Microenterprise Loan Fund to date, supporting 3,336 jobs in borrowing companies.  The Microenterprise Loan Fund is part funded by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation.

Commenting on the Report Minister Breen stated “It is now 5 years since Microfinance Ireland first opened its doors and it continues to show its support for our microenterprises throughout the country through its suite of distinct loan offerings.  It is also worthy to note that almost 80% of Microfinance Ireland loan approvals go to microenterprises outside of Dublin which is supporting the Government’s target of creating 135,000 jobs outside of Dublin by 2020.  I congratulate Garrett Stokes, CEO of Microfinance Ireland and his team on their continued good work”

Note for Editors

Microfinance Ireland Progress Report

A Microenterprise Loan Fund was established by the Government in 2012 through the Microenterprise Loan Fund Act 2012 and Microfinance Ireland (MFI) was incorporated in August 2012 as a subsidiary of Social Finance Foundation in order to operate the Fund.

The reasoning behind the establishment of such a Fund and establishing MFI was that access to finance for microenterprises, in particular, was a major issue with the banks at that time continuing to decline loans in the microfinance space (i.e. loans of up to €25,000).

After 5 years of operation MFI has performed very well. Whilst the Body originally got off to a slower than expected start as referred to in the 2015 MFI Review Report undertaken by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, its performance over the past 2 years has seen a significant increase in the levels of activity. So far, MFI has created or sustained 3,336 jobs, approved €21m of lending with 79% of loans provided to microenterprises outside of Dublin. 26% of the loans approved went to female promoters.