Future Growth Loan Scheme


Are you an SME involved in Primary Agriculture i.e. a farmer? If so, click here

Are you an SME or Small Midcap not involved in primary agriculture? If so click here

The Future Growth Loan Scheme is offered by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) with the support of the Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation, the Department  of Agriculture Food and the Marine, the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund. The Future Growth Loan Scheme benefits from a guarantee from the European Union under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). 

SME and Small Midcap Applicants not involved in primary agriculture


Loan Features

  • Loan amounts from €100,000 to a maximum of €3,000,000 per applicant

  • Initial maximum loan interest rate of 4.5% for loans < €250,000 and 3.5% for loans >= €250,000. Variable interest rates are subject to change

  • Loan terms ranging from 8 to 10 years

  • Unsecured loans up to €500,000

  • Optional interest-only repayments available in certain circumstances

An “Applicant” is an SME or small Mid-Cap that applies for a loan under the FGLS. Applicants for loans greater than €250,000 must submit a business plan to the relevant Financial Institution.


Loan Purpose

Loans can be used for long term investment. Please see example case studies here

Applicants must choose one of the below loan purposes:

  • Investment in Machinery or Equipment

  • Investment in Research and Development

  • Investment in Business Expansion

  • Investment in Premises Improvement

  • Investment in Process Innovation

  • Investment in People and/or Systems


Summary of Excluded Activities

  • Finance of specific export operations, or finance contingent upon the use of domestic over imported products. In particular, it should not apply to financing the establishment and operation of a distribution network in other States, or current expenditure linked to the export activity.

  • Finance of pure real estate development activity

  • Finance of activities constituting pure financial transactions (e.g. purchase of shares)

  • Loans to undertakings in difficulty

  • Finance of activities forbidden by national or EU law

  • Primary Agriculture (see specific SBCI FGLS agriculture loan product)

  • Refinance to reschedule existing loan or completed project

  • Aid for the acquisition of road freight transport vehicles by undertakings performing road freight transport for hire or reward

  • Please refer to this link for comprehensive detail on specific exclusions


Who can apply

Applicants must be viable micro, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and Small Mid-Cap enterprises.

An SME is defined by the Standard EU definition [Commission Regulation 2003/361/EC] as an enterprise that:

  • has fewer than 250 employees

  • has a turnover of €50 million or less (or €43 million or less on their balance sheet)

  • is independent and autonomous i.e. not part of a wider group of enterprises

  • has less than 25% of their capital held by public bodies

  • is established and operating in the Republic of Ireland

A Small Mid-Cap is an enterprise that is not an SME and has fewer than 500 employees.


Who cannot apply

An SME or Small Mid-Cap that: –

  • is in financial difficulty

  • is bankrupt or being wound up or having its affairs administered by courts

  • In the last 5 years has entered in to an arrangement with creditors, in the context of being bankrupt or wound-up or having its affairs administered by the courts

  • is convicted of an offense concerning professional misconduct by judgement, fraud, corruption, involvement in a criminal organisation, money laundering or any other illegal activity where such illegal activity is detrimental to the European Union’s financial interests.


State Aid

  • The provision of funding for these loans is being made under the De Minimis regulations which permit the provision of State Aid. SMEs may avail of De Minimis Aid provided it does not exceed €200,000 in any 3-year fiscal period. In the case of certain loans, State Aid may arise by virtue of the discounted interest rate received by the SME on SBCI loans, and if so, the SME will be advised. It is important to note that the Aid is not the amount of the loan.

  • See Regulation for further details.


How to apply for a loan

  • The Applicant must first submit an Eligibility Application Form to the SBCI to check if it is eligible to apply.

  • If the SBCI determines that the Applicant is eligible it will confirm that to the Applicant in writing.

  • The Applicant must provide this eligibility confirmation letter to the relevant Financial Institution when applying for a loan.


When is the FGLS available?


Apply now FGLS SME/Small mid-caps



SME Applicants involved in primary agriculture

Loan Features

  • Loan amounts from €50,000 to a maximum of €3,000,000 per Applicant

  • Initial maximum loan interest rate of 4.5% for loans < €250,000 and 3.5% for loans >= €250,000. Variable interest rates are subject to change

  • Loan terms ranging from 8 to 10 years

  • Unsecured loans up to €500,000

  • Optional interest – only repayments may be made available at the start of the loans

An “Applicant” is an SME that applies for a loan under the FGLS. Applicants for loans greater than €250,000 must submit a business plan to the relevant financial institution


Loans Purpose

Loans can be used for long term investment in tangible or intangible assets on agricultural holdings linked to primary agricultural production. Please see example case studies here

Primary Agriculture Applicants must choose one of the below loan purposes –

  1. the improvement of the overall performance and sustainability of the agricultural holding;

  2. the improvement of the natural environment, hygiene conditions or animal welfare standards, provided the investment goes beyond EU standards;

  3. the creation and improvement of infrastructure related to the development, adaptation and modernisation of agriculture;

  4. the achievement of agri-environmental-climate objectives; and

  5. The restoration of production potential damaged by natural disasters, adverse climatic events, animal diseases, plant pests and the prevention of damages caused by those events

  • The Applicant must submit a written eligibility application before work on the project or activity commences.

  • The Applicant must declare that the loan will be used to fund only the eligible costs applicable to the project.


Summary of excluded activities

  1. Loans to support export related activities towards third countries or other EU Member States, namely aid directly linked to the quantities exported, to the establishment and operation of a distribution network or to the other current expenditure linked to export activity;

  2. Loans contingent upon the use of domestic over imported goods;

  3. Loans to support investments required to comply with EU standards in force.

  4. Loans to an undertaking which is subject to an outstanding recovery order following a previous Commission Decision declaring an aid illegal and incompatible with the internal market;

  5. Loans to undertakings in difficulty;

  6. Loans to support the purchase of production rights, payment entitlements and annual plants;

  7. Loans to support the planting of annual plants;

  8. Loans to support drainage works; and

  9. Loans to support the purchase of animals.

  10. Loans to acquire land

  11. Please refer to the Regulation page for comprehensive detail on specific exclusions


Who can apply

Applicants are viable micro, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) involved in primary agriculture.

An SME is defined by the Standard EU definition [Commission Regulation 2003/361/EC] as an enterprise that:

  • has fewer than 250 employees

  • has a turnover of €50 million or less (or €43 million or less on their balance sheet)

  • is independent and autonomous i.e. not part of a wider group of enterprises

  • has less than 25% of their capital held by public bodies

  • is established and operating in the Republic of Ireland


Who cannot apply

An SME that: –

  • is in financial difficulty 

  • is bankrupt or being wound up or having its affairs administered by courts

  • In the last 5 years has entered in to an arrangement with creditors, in the context of being bankrupt or wound-up or having its affairs administered by the courts

  • is convicted of an offense concerning professional misconduct by judgement, fraud, corruption, involvement in a criminal organisation, money laundering or any other illegal activity where such illegal activity is detrimental to the European Union’s financial interests.


State Aid

  • State aid for the agricultural sector will be granted in accordance with Chapter 1 and Articles 14 and 17 of the Agriculture Block Exemption Regulation EU (No) 702/2014. Aid shall only apply to agricultural products or production of agricultural products, and, shall be granted to SME’s active in primary agricultural production, the processing and marketing of agricultural products

  • The maximum aid amount permitted per Applicant per project for primary agriculture is €500,000. 

  • Maximum aid intensity for primary agriculture is 40% of eligible costs.

  • See Regulation for further details.


How to apply for a loan

  • The Applicant must first submit an Eligibility Application Form to the SBCI to check if it is eligible to apply. 

  • If the SBCI determines that the Applicant is eligible it will confirm that to the Applicant in writing.

  • The Applicant must provide this eligibility confirmation letter to the relevant Financial Institution when applying for a loan. 


When is the FGLS available?


Apply now FGLS Primary Agriculture