Pat Breen, T.D., welcomes the publication of the Microfinance Ireland progress report

2,322 jobs supported by Microfinance loan funding

79% of loans support microenterprises outside of Dublin

Mr Pat Breen, T.D., Minister for Business and Employment, has today (Friday) welcomed the publication of the Microfinance Ireland Q3, 2016 Report.  The latest report shows that almost €16m of loans have been approved under the Microenterprise Loan Fund to date and that the Fund has supported 2,322 jobs.

Commenting on the Report Minister Breen stated

‘”I am pleased to see Microenterprise Ireland’s performance going from strength to strength.  Not only is the level of loan approvals impressive but the jobs supported are important too.  I am particularly pleased to see that 79% of loans from Microfinance Ireland are supporting microenterprises outside of Dublin.  This is in line with the Government’s regional focus in terms of job creation and sustainment and helping us on our way to achieving our target of helping to create 135,000 new jobs in the Regions.  I wish to commend Garrett Stokes, CEO of Microfinance Ireland and his team on the latest set of figures showing a strong performance by Microfinance Ireland’

Note for Editors

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 4 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 18 months to 2 years has seen a significant increase in the levels of activity.  So far, MFI has created or sustained 2,322 jobs,  approved €15.8m of lending with 79% of loans provided to microenterprises outside of Dublin.  25% of the loans approved went to female promoters.

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