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Small Businesses need more than financial support to succeed!

Microfinance Ireland marks European Microfinance Day, October 20th, by highlighting the benefits of mentoring service for Irish businesses

Understanding all aspects of managing a business is essential to its success, and mentoring support can be a valuable aid in gaining this knowledge, according to Garrett Stokes, CEO of Microfinance Ireland. Mr Stokes was highlighting the upcoming ‘European Microfinance Day’, (on 20th October, 2016), by showcasing the benefits of Microfinance Ireland’s mentoring service to businesses both new and established. 

The Microfinance Ireland mentoring service, delivered through the Local Enterprise Offices, is aimed at both start up and expanding businesses that employ fewer than ten people. Microfinance Ireland, set up four years ago as a government funded, not-for-profit lender to help get more people starting businesses, has already helped to support, sustain and create more than 2,300 jobs.

Microfinance Ireland offers expert mentoring assistance to approved loan applicants, which is provided through the Local Enterprise Offices. Feedback from those who have availed of mentoring has been excellent, many saying that they couldn’t believe how much their mentors had helped their businesses.

Garrett Stokes commented further: “While businesses constantly tell me that getting funding support for their business is very important, I believe our mentoring assistance is more critical to many new businesses. Many business people are experts in their own sector but they are weak in other areas such as finance, marketing and planning. This is another valuable aid to helping small businesses succeed.”

Pat Breen TD, Minister for Employment & Small Business, said: “Microfinance Ireland, as a not -for-profit lender operating in every county in Ireland, plays a critically important role in providing loans to small businesses to give them the financial support they need to either set up or grow their business. The added support of mentoring services greatly assists the sustainability and success of these businesses and supports overall economic development and growth. Since Microfinance Ireland was established they have approved loans to more than 1,000 businesses, located across every county in Ireland, helping sustain and create over 2,300 jobs. I would encourage microenterprises to apply for loans from Microfinance Ireland.”

On October 20th, events will be taking place across Europe for European Microfinance Day. It is organised by the European Microfinance Networks in co-operation with all network members, including Microfinance Ireland. This year’s theme focuses on the importance of non-financial services to help small businesses, such as mentoring.

Set up in 2012 by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Microfinance Ireland works in partnership with the network of Local Enterprise Offices and the Local Development Companies, to offer business loans to small businesses. Further information about the mentoring service is available on                                                                                                                              


For all media queries please contact

John Compton, Engage Ireland

Tel: 01 427 8388 / 087 2399394 /

Notes to the Editor

Photography Note: Mark Stedman of Stedman Photography has been commissioned to syndicate reproduction-free images from this Microfinance Ireland announcement (Tel: 086 367 9394).

About Microfinance Ireland (MFI)

Microfinance Ireland (MFI), as a not-for-profit lender, has been established to deliver the Government’s Microenterprise Loan Fund. Microfinance Ireland benefits from a guarantee funded by the European Union under the Programme for Employment and Social Innovation(EASI).

About European Microfinance Day

The 2nd European Microfinance Day (#EMD2016) will be held on Thursday, October 20th, 2016.It aims to raise awareness of microfinance as a tool to fight social exclusion and unemployment in Europe.

The event is supported by:

- The Luxembourgish presidency of the EU  - The European Commission - DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion  - The EIB Group: European Investment Bank (EIB), European Investment Fund (EIF) and the European Investment Bank Institute (EIBI)  - The European Economic and Social Committee