Microfinance Ireland Lending Up 7%

14 Feb 2020 | 10.45 am

Microfinance Ireland Lending Up 7%

Micro enterprise lender approved 452 loan in 2019

14 Feb 2020 | 10.45 am

State-funded not-for-profit lender Microfinance Ireland has recorded an increase of 7% in the number of applications for funding in 2019.

A record number of 452 loans (up 18%) totalling €6m was approved in 2019, supporting 1,220 jobs. The funding went to startups and established micro-enterprises located in all areas, with four out of five loans going to businesses located outside Dublin.

Nearly half of those surveyed that received funding (48%) used their loan to cover startup costs, while 30% used the funding for business growth and expansion. The remaining 22% devoted it to working capital.

The survey indicated that MFI could do more, with 94% indicating that they would be delighted to borrow from MFI again, and 35% of applicants would have liked to borrow more than the current maximum cap of €25,000.

An independent survey by EY on MFI’s services shows that 95% of small businesses surveyed overwhelmingly believe the lender is important in helping them progress their plans for their business.

MFI chief executive Garrett Stokes (pictured) commented: “I am delighted with the results of the recent survey and the continued growth in demand for our product. This both highlights and endorses the ongoing need for initiatives such as the Microenterprise Loan Fund which enables us provide loan finance up to €25,000 to small businesses that find it difficult to get finance from commercial lending providers.

“MFI do not compete with the banks in Ireland. We do the lending banks can’t do, and by filling this gap we are supporting economic growth, enabling small businesses to operate and helping job creation in all corners of the country.”

MFI operates in partnership with the Local Enterprise Office network, local development companies and banks as a source of loan referrals, in addition to its own direct channel. It benefits from a guarantee funded by the European Union under the Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI).

Micro-enterprises are defined as any business with less than 10 employees and annual turnover of up to €2m.

 

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