Local Enterprise Office Launches New Loan Partnership

Local Enterprise Office Fingal is teaming up with Microfinance Ireland, to launch a new type of loan support aimed at the small business community in the region.

The ‘LEO Microfinance’ loan is being officially launched this week with small business loans on offer, of between €2,000 and €25,000, at a reduced rate of interest. Benefitting from advice and support during the application stage, start-ups and small businesses can now apply directly to the Local Enterprise Office Fingal for the new ‘LEO Microfinance’ loan package.

Under a new Protocol between the LEOs around the country and Microfinance Ireland (MFI), it is expected that up to 250 new applications for the loan support will take place this year alone. Based on an average loan size of €15,500, the €3.8 million in lending is expected to support 500 jobs nationwide.

Importantly, loans are generally unsecured and can be used for working capital, as well as items like equipment, hiring new employees and marketing campaigns. Start-ups and small businesses across all industries and sectors, which employ fewer than 10 people, are being encouraged to apply if they are finding it difficult to access credit.

MFI, a not-for-profit lender, was established in October 2012 and received its first loan application the following month. It was set up to deliver the Government’s Microenterprise Loan Fund, announced in the Action Plan for Jobs.

Around half of MFI’s loan applications already come through the LEOs, and the newly-appointed Chief Executive Officer of MFI, Michael Johnson, is keen to encourage many more start-ups and small business owners to apply through the LEO network. He said: “Since Microfinance Ireland opened its doors less than two years ago, we’ve made significant progress with the help of the Local Enterprise Offices, approving loans to 308 small businesses, providing €4.8 million in lending, supporting 711 jobs to date.” 

Find out more about the Microfinance Ireland Loan

 

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