Surge In Loan Demand From Microfinance Ireland

03 Feb 2021 | 12.38 pm

Surge In Loan Demand From Microfinance Ireland

Micro enterprise loans of €27m in 2020

03 Feb 2021 | 12.38 pm

Microfinance Ireland saw demand for its loans double year-on-year through 2020, with two-thirds of the €27m loaned out going to businesses seeking support through the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the not-for-profit lender, which was set up by the government in 2012, loan application volume doubled in 2020, and there were 1,229 loan approvals, up 172% yoy. The total loan value of €27m was a more than threefold increase on 2019.

Garrett Stokes (pictured), CEO of MFI, said that an “incredibly busy” 2020 included the launch of MFI’s Covid-19 loan in mid-March, which received significant demand.

“During the summer months we were one of the few supports available to those micro enterprises across the country who could not get bank finance. At one stage we were experiencing a 500% increase in demand.

“As well as a significant increase in new lending we also engaged with all our existing customers, with approximately 70% of those seeking forbearance on their loan due to the impact of the pandemic on their business,” Stokes added.

MFI’s work during 2020 recently earned it a Chambers Ireland InBusiness Recognition Award (Financial Provider to Micro-Businesses and Startups). “On behalf of the MFI staff who have worked tirelessly through the pandemic I was delighted for them to receive the Chambers Ireland award,” said Stokes. “It recognises the work MFI has done supporting both startups and more established micro-enterprises across the country.”

Cyril Forbes, chairman of Microfinance Ireland, commented: “MFI could not have provided this much-needed financial support to small businesses without the additional funding it received from government and the considerable efforts by the small team in MFI throughout 2020.

“Looking ahead the MFI team will continue to make a strong contribution and deliver on their mandate from government, which is to support small businesses, protect jobs and the economy overall. That support is needed now more than ever.”

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