Microfinance Ireland (MFI) raises €15m to fund growth in lending to micro-enterprises

Microfinance Ireland today announced that through its parent company Social Finance Foundation (SFF) it has raised an additional €15 million in loan finance to lend to micro-enterprises.  The €15 million in loan funding to assist businesses of fewer than ten people has been raised from AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank.  These funds will allow MFI to greatly expand its lending to micro-enterprises that have been unable to secure loans elsewhere.   

To date, more than 1,000 jobs have been supported by Microfinance Ireland through the approval of loans worth more than €7.4 million to 484 micro-enterprises.  Microfinance Ireland was set up by Government under the auspices of the Social Finance Foundation with funding of €10m as part of the Action Plan for Jobs.   

In 2015, Microfinance Ireland plans to double the number of jobs it is supporting to more than 2,000 by approving additional loans of €6m to start-up and existing micro-enterprises.  

Speaking today, Minister for Business and Employment Ged Nash TD said, “This announcement is very good news for micro-enterprises who have not been able to source loans through traditional routes and is a key element of the Government’s response to ensuring that our small businesses have access to finance for growth.  Microfinance Ireland has made a significant difference to hundreds of micro-sized companies and has helped support a thousand jobs, three quarters of which are outside Dublin.  This new loan agreement will mean hundreds more companies can be supported to expand and create more jobs.”  

Speaking about the new loan agreement, Brendan Whelan, Chief Executive of Social Finance Foundation said, “We are delighted with the success of Microfinance Ireland and today’s announcement demonstrates the strength of the partnership model between Government, the Foundation and the banks in setting up and supporting Microfinance Ireland and ultimately supporting job creation in its micro-enterprise client businesses.” Michael Johnson, Chief Executive of Microfinance Ireland, said “This loan agreement is key to the expansion plans of Microfinance Ireland and the number of jobs in micro-enterprises that we can support. Our ambition is to double our lending in 2015, and support a further 1000 jobs in 2016. The cost per job supported and the positive social impacts represent an excellent return both on a social and economic basis.”  

Microfinance Ireland is a 100% owned subsidiary of Social Finance Foundation and is a private not for profit entity which has been mandated by Government to manage the statutory based Microenterprise Loan Fund.

MFI raises €15million

Photograph shows Dublin Pedi Bus  http://www.dublinpedibus.com/ a start up business in the tourism sector which was unable to raise bank loans and was backed by Microfinance Ireland.  The person behind the business is Greg Fahy and the company currently employs 2 people with expansion plans for both Dublin and the UK.