Easier Access for Microfinance Loans through Local Enterprise Offices

28th September 2015

Easier Access for Microfinance Loans through Local Enterprise Offices

Recent changes to the Microfinance Ireland application process, now means that even more small business owners can apply for a Microfinance Loan through Local Enterprise Offices.

Under a partnership between Microfinance Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices, business loans of €2,000 to €25,000 are available through the Local Enterprise Office Clare. Offering a preferential interest rate and flexibility on repayment terms on the loan, companies must be less than 10 employees and a turnover of less than €2m to apply.

Explaining the changes to the application process through the Local Enterprise Offices, Minister for Business and Employment Ged Nash T.D. said, “Almost 700 applications for credit from microenterprises have been approved by Microfinance Ireland since its inception in late 2012. It has provided more than €10.5m in funding to companies who may not have been able to secure credit elsewhere and supported 1,550 jobs.”

“However, the requirement for microenterprises to obtain a bank refusal before seeking finance from MFI has proven to be an unnecessary obstacle. I am pleased to say that this requirement has now been removed, as recommended in the recent review of MFI, meaning a microenterprise can now apply directly to MFI for funding.”

Welcoming the removal of the bank refusal requirement for applicants, the Chair of the Board of Microfinance Ireland, Cyril Forbes said, “The Government’s removal of the bank rejection requirement is great news for jobs. It will be easier for those requiring credit to access the Microfinance Loan Fund, through the Local Enterprise Offices. It will further enhance our ability to "put air in the tyres" of entrepreneurs and micro businesses and ensure that all viable, genuine and credit worthy projects or individuals shall be given access to affordable funds through MFI and the Local Enterprise Offices.”

Kieran Comerford, Chair of the Network of Local Enterprise Offices said: “Getting a loan can be a crucial step up for an SME whether it be at the start up or development stages. The partnership between Micro Finance & the Local Enterprise Offices breaks down the barriers to accessing credit and enhances the offering that the Local Enterprise Offices can deliver as the first stop shop for Ireland’s enterprise community”.

For full details on loans from Microfinance Ireland through Local Enterprise Office Clare, please go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwTA8m9kwGk.