Building Your Business
Microfinance Ireland providing loans to microenterprises in Ireland

1 November 2013

Microfinance Ireland wants to make it easier for businesses to start up, expand, succeed and create jobs. Microfinance Ireland (MFI), as a not-for-profit lender, has been established to deliver the Government’s Microenterprise Loan Fund. The Microenterprise Loan Fund forms part of a suite of financial schemes provided through the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation to assist businesses in a range of sizes across all industry sectors.

The objective of Microfinance Ireland is to provide additional lending to start-up, newly established or growing microenterprises that have commercially viable proposals but do not meet conventional risk criteria applied by commercial banks.Microfinance Ireland is a subsidiary company of the Social Finance Foundation which was founded in 2007 by the Minister for Finance and has substantial experience in this area.

Microfinance Ireland benefits from a guarantee issued under the European Progress Microfinance Facility established by the European Union. This fund is designed to stimulate lending to sustainable microenterprises

We do this by lending through the Microenterprise Loan Fund. This is targeted at start-up or growing microenterprises across all industry sectors. We work with businesses based in the Republic of Ireland, with less than 10 employees and a turnover of less than €2m.

We help by providing unsecured business loans of €2,000 to €25,000 for commercially viable proposals that have been declined bank credit.

We will consider co-funding bank proposals. Microenterprises that have experienced both formal and informal declines from their bank are eligible to apply for a loan with us.

The interest rate on our loans is 8.8% APR fixed and repayments are by monthly direct debit.

Loans are generally for 3 years for working capital facilities. Loans up to 5 years may be considered if it involves financing of capital expenditure such as equipment, machinery or vehicles. The business can be trading as a sole trader, a partnership or a limited company.

The Government’s Microfinance Loan scheme has been in operation since October 2012 and in it’s first 6 months lent €711,000 to 44 microenterprises. This scheme is part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs 2012. The lending so far has supported 116 jobs. A total of 149 applications were received in that time period with a 42% approval rate.


  • Sole trader, Partnerships, Limited Company      with
  • Loans from €2,000 to €25,000
  • Loan terms 6 months to 3 years
  • Start-ups and existing businesses
  • Bank decline for credit facilities

For further information visit HERE

  • Cavan
  • Louth
  • Meath
  • Monaghon