16th May 2017
Microfinance Ireland, the government funded not-for-profit lender is delighted to announce it has been awarded, by the European Commission (EC), a certification of compliance with the European Code of Good Conduct for Microcredit Provision.
The certification confirms Microfinance Ireland’s position as a best-in-class micro credit provider in Europe, being one of the first four institutions in Europe to qualify and the only organisation in Ireland to receive this award.
To achieve this award recipients must comply with 175 standards and ethical practices set down by the EC. The Code determines quality in the sector across several areas including: customer relations; governance; credit and risk management; and management information systems.
Welcoming the award Pat Breen, T.D. and Minister for Employment and Small Business, said: “This is a significant achievement by Microfinance Ireland. As Ireland’s national micro credit organisation, it is important that it operates to the highest level and this award confirms that Microfinance Ireland functions amongst the top providers in Europe. Of particular note is the fact that Microfinance Ireland has been recognised for its positive dealings with customers and its risk management. I would like to congratulate the team in Microfinance Ireland on this achievement.”
Commenting on the new accolade, Garrett Stokes, CEO of Microfinance Ireland said the endeavours of the not-for-profit lender has resonated across the country since its inception in 2012, with €18m in loans helping the small business community.
“As a small micro credit provider in European terms, we are delighted to have reached the standards of business behaviour and performance required to achieve this award,” he said. “These standards are for the benefit of our customers, the Irish government who fund us, regulators and partner organisations.
“We provide loans to small businesses which supports the creation of jobs across Ireland. We are very pleased to be confirmed as a centre of excellence for the provision of micro credit in Europe. We continue to see growing demand for our services and as we continue to develop, it is important that the company operates to the highest standards, across all our activities.”
Notes for the editor:
About Microfinance Ireland (MFI) www.microfinanceireland.ie: Microfinance Ireland is a not-for-profit lender established in 2012 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).
Microfinance Ireland provides an alternative source of funding to micro-enterprises* – both new and existing - who may be having difficulties in accessing finance from commercial providers. It ultimately supports the creation and/or retention of jobs.
Offering four types of start-up loans ranging between €2,000 and €25,000, MFI has to date approved approximately €18 million in loans to 1,250 businesses, supporting an estimated 2,950 jobs.
* Micro-enterprises are defined as any business with less than 10 employees and annual turnover of less than €2M.
More information on the Code of Good Conduct is available on the EC’s website: http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/sources/thefunds/doc/code_bonne_conduite_en.pdf
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