Minister welcomes MFI rate cut

Minister Mitchell O’Connor welcomes interest rate cut and mentoring assistance for micro-enterprises

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D., today welcomed the news that Microfinance Ireland, the government funded not-for-profit lender to micro-enterprises, is reducing interest rates by 1% from 1st July 2016.MFI Annouce rate cut

Furthermore, Microfinance Ireland has also launched a support program to offer expert mentoring assistance to approved loan applicants as required. This mentoring will be provided through the Local Enterprises Offices who work hand in hand with Microfinance Ireland to support microbusinesses at local level across the country.

Commenting on the announcement, Minister Mitchell O’Connor said “I welcome this development from the new CEO of Microfinance Ireland Garrett Stokes, that in line with the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs, loans to micro-enterprises will become more affordable. In addition, I welcome the introduction of valuable business supports to aid small enterprises, increasing their chances of commercial success, thus creating and sustaining jobs and which greatly helps in improving the economy overall”.

Micro-enterprises can apply for loans of between €2,000 and €25,000 through their Local Enterprise Office or directly to Microfinance Ireland. From 1st July, applicants seeking loan finance from Microfinance Ireland through their Local Enterprise Office can borrow at 6.8% APR which is a highly competitive interest rate for those small businesses who are currently finding it difficult to access finance from traditional sources. The standard rate of 7.8% APR will be applicable to businesses who apply directly to Microfinance Ireland and also reflects a reduction of 1% in the standard rate as and from that date.

In addition, approved Microfinance loan applicants can also benefit from mentoring services, organised through the Local Enterprise Offices and tailored to the specific requirements of the business.

The Minister of State for Employment and Small Business Pat Breen, also commented, “ I welcome this positive step by Microfinance Ireland to further support our commitment to the SME sector in all areas of the country and this news should encourage more entrepreneurs and small businesses to take the first step in starting out or growing their existing business.

Since MFI was set up in late 2012, it has approved €14.1m in loans to 944 businesses supporting 2,148 jobs, across all sectors of business and in every county across the country.