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Minister for Trade, Employment and Business, Pat Breen TD welcomes the publication of the Microfinance Ireland Progress Report

  • Microfinance loan funding supports over 4,000 jobs

  • Micro enterprises outside of Dublin account for 79% of loans

  • €1.3m loans approved in Q1 2018

Pat Breen TD, Minister for Trade, Employment and Business, has today welcomed the publication of the Microfinance Ireland report for Q1, 2018. The latest report shows that €23.9m of loans have been approved under the Microenterprise Loan Fund to date, supporting 4,099 jobs in borrowing companies. The Microenterprise Loan Fund is part funded by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation.

Commenting on the Report Minister Breen stated “It is now 6 years since Microfinance Ireland first opened its doors and it continues to show its support for our microenterprises throughout the country through its suite of distinct loan offerings. It is also worthy to note that almost 80% of Microfinance Ireland loan approvals go to microenterprises outside of Dublin which is supporting the Government’s target of creating 135,000 jobs outside of Dublin by 2020. I congratulate Garrett Stokes, CEO of Microfinance Ireland and his team on their continued good work”.

A link to the report can be found here: Microfinance Ireland Progress Report Q1 2018



The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) plays a key role in implementing the Government’s policies of stimulating the productive capacity of the economy and creating an environment which supports job creation and maintenance. The Department also has a remit to promote fair competition in the marketplace, protect consumers and safeguard workers.

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Note for Editors

About Microfinance Ireland (MFI)

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.

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

About EaSI

The European Commission’s Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI) aims at supporting EU's objective of high level employment, adequate social protection, fighting against social exclusion and poverty and improving working conditions. The EaSI guarantee scheme was launched in June 2015 by the European Commission and managed by EIF.

It provides support to financial intermediaries that offer microloans to entrepreneurs or finance to social enterprises. The objective is to increase access to microfinance for vulnerable groups who want to set up or develop their business and micro-enterprises, notably through loans of up to €25,000. In addition, for the first time, the European Commission is helping social enterprises through investments of up to €500,000. The microfinance and social entrepreneurship support is currently being implemented through the EaSI guarantee scheme, which enables financial intermediaries to reach out to micro-entrepreneurs and social enterprises that would not have been able to gain finance otherwise due to risk considerations.