31st March 2015 |
Microfinance Ireland (MFI) began operating on 1 October 2012 providing loans of up to €25,000 to microenterprises that do not meet the conventional risk criteria applied by the banks. After 2 years of operations MFI had received 729 applications, supported 743 jobs in 333 microenterprises and approved loans valued at €5.137 million and delivered a 57% approval rate. This performance has been achieved through a period of significant economic uncertainty for many businesses across all sectors of the economy.
Section 22 of the Microenterprise Loan Fund Act 2012 (the Act) commits the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation to commence a review of the performance of MFI within 2 years of the passing of the legislation. In conducting this review the Department considered (i) the market for microfinance, (ii) the operation of the primary legislation, (iii) the operation of the secondary legislation, and (iv) the performance of MFI over its first 2 years in operation. As well as an in-depth desk-based examination the Department undertook a broad-based consultation with key stakeholders.
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