Microfinance loan funding supports over 3,000 jobs. Micro enterprises outside of Dublin account for 78% of loans.
Pat Breen TD, Minister for Business and Employment, has today welcomed the publication of the Microfinance Ireland report for Q2, 2017. The latest report shows that almost €20m of loans have been approved under the Microenterprise Loan Fund to date, supporting 3,145 jobs in borrowing companies.
Commenting on the Report Minister Breen stated
“I am pleased to see Microfinance Ireland continuing to develop and grow. The loans it approves help to support micro enterprises across the country. As we approach the 5th anniversary of Microfinance Ireland beginning its operations, it has so far approved €19.6m in loans, helping to support 3,145 jobs.
This quarter has been particularly noteworthy, with Microfinance Ireland being awarded the European Code of Good Conduct by the European Commission during Quarter 2 which confirms Microfinance Ireland’s position as a best in class micro credit provider in Europe. I congratulate Garrett Stokes, CEO of Microfinance Ireland and his team on achieving this prestigious award.”
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 almost 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 3,145 jobs, approved almost €20m of lending with 78% of loans provided to microenterprises outside of Dublin. 26% of the loans approved went to female promoters.