12 Dec 2019 | 10.37 am
Demand For Growth Funding From Microfinance Ireland Remains High
€5m more funding from government to protect against no-deal Brexit
12 Dec 2019 | 10.37 am
The Government is increasing funding to Microfinance Ireland by €5m to support Micro-Enterprises that may be impacted in a No-Deal Brexit scenario
Microfinance Ireland (MFI) the not-for-profit lender was established by the Government in 2012 to provide loan finance to small businesses at a time when they were finding it very difficult to secure financial support from traditional lending providers.
While the economy now bears no resemblance to that of 2012, there is always a need for an organisation like Microfinance Ireland to offer an alternative source of funding to those businesses that do not meet the standard lending criteria provided by banks and other commercial providers. MFI continues to see a growing demand for loans year-on-year from small businesses that need finance to scale up or grow their business.
Alternative Funding Source
MFI addresses a gap in the market by providing an alternative source of funding to small businesses who are having difficulty in sourcing finance from traditional lenders. Since the recession, more small businesses can find it harder to meet the lending criteria applied by banks, and can often be challenged in accessing finance for business expansion due to their level of existing credit facilities and/or legacy debt issues.
MFI provide business loans from €2,000 to €25,000 to established Micro-Enterprises (i.e. fewer than 10 full-time employees and up to €2m annual turnover) for working capital or business expansion, over terms of between three and five years, with the aim of supporting the creation and retention of jobs.
As part of its loan packages, MFI also offers expert one-to-one mentoring, through Local Enterprise Offices, to approved loan applicants, increasing the chances of small businesses achieving commercial success, and helping to sustain jobs in the longer term.
As a not-for-profit and government funded lending organisation, MFI is unique in the SME market in offering unsecured loan finance at affordable pricing to small businesses who may be having difficulty in securing finance for their business.
Increased Loan Demand
In 2019 to date, demand for MFI loans continues to increase despite all the economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit. As of end September 2019, MFI has approved over €32m in loans to almost 2,300 borrowers, supporting over 5,300 jobs. Microfinance Ireland’s aim is to ensure that sustainable businesses receive the finance they need, support entrepreneurship and to create jobs.
Late last year, MFI was very proud to receive a Chambers Ireland ‘In Business Recognition Award’ as Best Finance Provider to Micro-Businesses and Start-Ups. As a small not-for-profit lending organisation, it was wonderful to receive such a strong acknowledgement of the work that is done across every town and county in Ireland, supporting businesses and creating jobs. The businesses that MFI support are usually small businesses, which are often the lifeblood of their local communities, providing products or services and employment to their areas. Without them many local communities would fail.
Recently, it was announced that the Department of Business Enterprise & Innovation will increase its funding to Microfinance Ireland by €5m to support micro-enterprises that may be impacted in a No-Deal Brexit scenario. This is another endorsement by Government that alternative sources of funding are continually needed to support micro-enterprises in Ireland.
If you need funding to finance your growth plans and your business has fewer than 10 full-time employees, please register your details on www.microfinanceireland.ie and an MFI loan advisor will be in touch to discuss the loan options available for your business.
Pictured: Pat Breen (centre), Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, with Microfinance Ireland chairman Cyril Forbes (left) and CEO Garrett Stokes