Minister welcomes new loan supports for Ireland’s young entrepreneurs


The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms. Mary Mitchell O’ Connor T.D., has welcomed the announcement that every young entrepreneur entering this year’s ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ competition can apply for discounted loans through Microfinance Ireland.  

By applying for the new IBYE business loan, young entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 35 can apply for up to €5,000 at a preferential rate of 5% APR, which is a reduction of 2.8% APR on Microfinance Ireland's standard rate, for people applying directly to them. The discounted loan package is designed to boost young entrepreneurs’ access to credit, to help them set-up and grow their own businesses faster.  

Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition is run by all 31 Local Enterprise Offices and the deadline to enter this year is Friday, October 14th. More than 1,400 entrepreneurs entered last year’s competition and all 2016 entrants are eligible to apply for the new discounted loan.  

Welcoming the announcement about the IBYE loan package, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D. said: “Microfinance Ireland is a key part of the start-up and microenterprise ecosystem in Ireland and this is a very attractive offer of discounted loan financing for IBYE competition applicants.  This is a strong endorsement of the IBYE initiative and what it can achieve by encouraging a culture of entrepreneurship and driving successful business start-ups amongst young people all over the country. If you are aged between 18 and 35 with a new business idea, new start-up or established enterprise, there is still time to get your IBYE 2016 application in by Friday 14th October.”  

Garrett Stokes, Chief Executive of Microfinance Ireland, said: "Microfinance Ireland wants to make it easier for businesses to start up, expand, succeed and create jobs. That is why we are very pleased to support the 2016 IBYE competition. Our loan finance offer of up to €5,000 at a discounted rate of 5% APR to competition applicants recognises the ambition and potential that exists amongst Ireland's younger entrepreneurs. If you are an IBYE 2016 applicant requiring loan funding to establish or grow your business, I would encourage you to contact your Local Enterprise Office and check out how Microfinance Ireland can help.”  

IBYE is co-ordinated by the Local Enterprise Offices and Sheelagh Daly of the LEOs said: “Access to loans at a discounted rate is another significant reason why more young entrepreneurs should enter the IBYE competition this year. As well as accessing the IBYE loan package through Microfinance Ireland, every entrant could also win a share of the LEO €50,000 county investment fund or one of the hundreds of places on offer at Regional Business Bootcamps.”  

The loan offer is available to entrants across the three IBYE categories, which are: Best Business Idea, Best Start-Up and Best Established Business and the competition deadline to enter is Friday, October 14th.  

Further details are available from the 31 Local Enterprise Offices nationwide, through and from the IBYE website at Information on Microfinance Ireland supports can be found at