€90m Microfinance Scheme open for business

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, has announced the opening of a €90m Microfinance Scheme.

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, has announced the opening of a €90m Microfinance Scheme.

Applications from businesses and sole traders across all sectors employing up to ten people who have been refused credit by the banks for loans of up to €25,000 will be accepted and processed.

The Scheme will initially facilitate €40million in additional lending over the next five years to businesses employing not more than 10 people, with provision for the scheme to be extended to provide an additional €50million of lending over a further five years at that point. Start-ups, sole traders and existing microenterprises will be eligible to apply for a loan under the scheme.

Over the lifetime of the 10-year Scheme it is expected that over €90million in additional lending will be provided to 5,500 micro-enterprises with the creation of an expected 7,700 jobs. The Scheme will be operated by Microfinance Ireland.

The Minister made the announcement today at Dux & Co, a catering business which was established two years ago by John Coady and Leah Duxbury, which was refused credit from the banks, benefited from microfinance lending, and which has recently opened a café and now employs eight people.

Speaking at the launch, Minister for Small Business and Sligo/North Leitrim TD, John Perry said “It is only by creating the right environment for businesses to expand that we will see new jobs coming on stream, and addressing their financing needs is a crucial factor.

“We must champion the cause of the microenterprise sector, to build new opportunities for them to grow, to hire, and to support Ireland’s economic recovery”.

Chairperson of Microfinance Ireland, Ms. Geraldine Kelly said “MFI looks forward to playing its role in supporting commercially viable microenterprises that do not meet the conventional risk criteria applied by banks. MFI is pleased to work in partnership with CCEBs in executing its national mandate in supporting jobs”.

Further details, guides and application forms can be found at County and City Enterprise Boards and at www.enterpriseboards.ie