News & Events

Ministers Humphreys and Breen welcome the publication of the 2017 Annual Report and Accounts for Microfinance Ireland

  • Microfinance loan funding supported 1,141 jobs

  • €5.5m in loans were approved to 400 small businesses

  • MFI achieved best in class under the European Commission’s European Code of Good Conduct for Microfinance provision

  • Provides the lowest cost of any Government job initiative - €2,000 per job

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

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen TD, welcomed the publication of the Microfinance Ireland’s Annual Report and Accounts for 2017. The Annual Report and Accounts show that €22.6m of loans have been approved under the Microenterprise Loan Fund since 2012, supporting 3,952 jobs in borrowing companies throughout Ireland. 

Minister Humphreys commented:

“Since its launch in 2012, Microfinance Ireland has provided vital support for microenterprises throughout the country. 2017 has been a record year with lending activity and the number of jobs supported continuing to grow.  Significantly, almost 80% of Microfinance Ireland loan approvals go to microenterprises outside of Dublin which is vital in supporting this Government’s target of creating 135,000 jobs outside of Dublin by 2020.”

Minister Breen congratulated Microfinance Ireland on its continued excellent performance in 2017 and commented:

“The work of MFI is continuing to have a positive impact across Ireland, contributing to the Government’s objectives in relation to regional economic development and job creation.  Importantly, most of its customers continue to be start-ups and from vulnerable sectors such as youth, unemployed, females, migrants and seniors.

In March last year MFI was recognised internationally by the European Investment Fund achieving best in class under the European Commission’s European Code of Good Conduct for microfinance provision.  I congratulate Garrett Stokes, CEO of Microfinance Ireland and his team on their continued good work”


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.

For further information please contact Press Office, D/Business, Enterprise and Innovation, or (01) 631-2200

Note for Editors

Read the Microfinance Ireland annual report here

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 The European Investment Fund (EIF)

The European Investment Fund support Europe’s SMEs by improving their access to finance through a wide range of selected financial intermediaries. To this end, they design, promote and implement equity and debt financial instruments which specifically target SMEs. In this role, they foster EU objectives in support of entrepreneurship, growth, innovation, research and development, and employment. By offering an Integrated Risk Finance Product Range of SME finance to our intermediaries, they complement the products offered by the European Investment Bank (EIB)