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SBCI partners with Microfinance Ireland to provide €30m in new lower-cost funding to Irish small businesses

28 Oct 2021

28 October 2021

The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) today announced a new partnership with Microfinance Ireland (MFI), which becomes the 14th on-lender of lower-cost SBCI loans for small Irish businesses, expanding further the range of funding options available in the SME market.

The SBCI has committed €30m to MFI which will allow Microfinance Ireland to increase its lending capacity and offer lower rates on its standard loan products.

MFI provides its loans through the Government’s Microenterprise Loan Fund and its purpose is to help start-ups and established businesses to get the finance they need for their business.

The loans available under the new SBCI funding will have competitive interest rates, a maturity of up to five years, with amounts up to €25,000 and flexible repayment schedules.

Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, TD, said:

This partnership means that the SBCI will be able to assist Microfinance Ireland in its mission to deliver the Government’s Microenterprise Loan Fund and support small businesses who may be having difficulties in accessing funding for their business. The SBCI offers a wide range of supports to the SME sector and welcoming MFI as its 14th on-lender continues the SBCI’s work to expand on-lenders beyond the retail banks, meaning that more SMEs are able to access credit from an increased diversity of sources in both bank and non-bank credit.”

Damien English TD, Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail said:

“The new partnership approach by Microfinance Ireland and the SBCI to make available the best loan packages to local businesses is an important milestone for the development of the micro-enterprise ecosystem in Ireland. These two bodies, alongside my Department, have been working together to reduce the cost of loans for microbusinesses in Ireland. SBCI’s access to the funding markets now means that MFI can bring cost savings direct to their customers – local businesses throughout every region of Ireland and in every sector. This partnership demonstrates good collaboration between agencies and Government in helping firms access finance through affordable loan products in the market”.

SBCI Chief Executive June Butler said:

“It has been a very difficult time for all businesses in Ireland over the last 18 months and in keeping with the SBCI’s mandate to offer low-cost credit to Irish SMEs while driving competition and innovation in the Irish finance market, today’s announcement offers a great new option that will go a long way towards helping many businesses thrive into the future. The SBCI is delighted to partner with Microfinance Ireland in offering this greater choice and more competitive lower-cost funding to micro and SME businesses.”

Des McCarthy, Chief Executive Officer, Microfinance Ireland said:

“Having seen a very significant increase in demand for our loan products over the past 18 months, MFI is delighted to have secured this €30m in new liquidity. This funding will allow us to support an even greater number of start-ups and established micro-enterprises with fewer than 10 employees and up to €2m annual turnover. The rate offered on this SBCI funding will lead to a reduction in the rates we charge our borrowers thereby making our loans more affordable for our customers and supporting more of them with their business plans.”