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Under a partnership between Microfinance Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices, business loans are now available through the LOCAL ENTERPRISE OFFICE. 

  • Unsecured loans from €2,000 up to €25,000
  • Term from 3 to 5 years
  • Reduced Interest Rate 4.5% for LEO clients
  • Flexibility on repayment terms

The loans are provided and underwritten by our partner organisation Microfinance Ireland and application may be made through the LEO office and in the first instance will be assessed locally.  Microfinance Ireland was established by the government to provide additional lending to start-up and existing micro enterprises.  The final decision for all loan applications is made by Microfinance Ireland. Loans are repayable to Microfinance Ireland according to the terms and conditions set out by Microfinance Ireland.

Sole Traders, Partnerships and Limited Companies with fewer than 10 employees and an annual turnover of less than €2m are eligible to apply. Unlike some of the other financial supports available from the LEO, all business sectors are eligible to apply. Loans may be used to fund the start-up of a business, the purchase of stock, equipment, machinery and business vehicles, and are also available to existing enterprises.

By applying through the Local Enterprise Office you will get :

A 1% reduction on normal interest rate of 5.5% APR (4.5% APR if submitted through the Local Enterprise Office Network)

  • Assistance and feedback on application
  • Business advice and support

In addition, approved Microfinance Ireland loan applicants can also benefit from mentor services, arranged through the Local Enterprise Office and tailored to the specific requirements of the business.

If you would like to apply for a loan please call or email your Local Enterprise Office.

Microfinance Ireland has been funded by the Irish government to provide loans to newly established and growing micro enterprises (with a turnover of less than €2m; staff less than 10) across all industry sectors that do not meet the conventional risk criteria applied by banks.

In the first instance, you should approach your bank for credit. In the event that credit is declined, you are eligible to apply to Microfinance Ireland for a loan.

Microfinance Ireland works in partnership with Local Enterprise Offices (LEO) who can assist with training and guidance in preparing your business plan. They will also conduct an initial evaluation of the quality of your business proposal for a loan application.

€2-5K Microfinance Application Form 

€5-25K Microfinance Application Form

Microfinance Ireland - Eligibility Criteria

  • Have you a commercially viable business proposal that has been declined credit by a bank?
  • Are you a start-up or growing micro-enterprise employing less than 10 people?
  • Do you require less that €25,000?

If you have answered 'yes' to these questions, you are eligible to apply for a loan under this scheme.

Step 1

Go to your LEO and speak to an Advisor who will assist you with the application process.

Step 2


  • An application form
  • A business plan
  • A three year cashflow projection

and give it to your LEO Advisor who will evaluate it and make a recommendation.

Step 3

The LEO will send your application to Microfinance Ireland who will assess the proposition and Microfinance Ireland will contact you directly.

For more information visit the Microfinance Ireland website