Record year’s performance, supporting almost 3,000 micro-enterprise jobs during 2020

Award recognises sterling work done during Pandemic

2020 was a record year for Microfinance Ireland (MFI) with loan application volumes up 101% and loan approvals at a record 1,229, up 172% YoY, to a total value of €27 million, a rise of 354% YoY. These loans supported and sustained 2,972 jobs and of these loans, 67% of the value and 86% of the jobs sustained were for businesses seeking support through the COVID19 pandemic.

In recognition of the work carried out by MFI during 2020, the government funded not-for-profit lender was a winner (Friday 29th January 2021) of the Chambers Ireland, InBusiness Recognition Award – Financial Provider to Micro-Businesses & Startups in 2020.This award acknowledged MFI’s strong support for a large number of micro-enterprises during what was an extremely challenging year for small businesses In Ireland.

Damien English TD, Minister for Business, Employment and Retail, said“I am extremely encouraged and proud to learn that the efforts of MFI in supporting microenterprises in Ireland, especially in the face of the tough trading conditions over the past year, have been credited through an InBusiness Recognition award from Chambers Ireland.  I have no doubt that MFI will continue to play a significant role in meeting Irish entrepreneurs’ needs for liquidity as they endeavour to grow their businesses and create more jobs across the country.”

Garrett Stokes, MFI CEO, commented: “It has been an incredibly busy year for us. We launched our COVID-19 loan in mid-March and demand was ‘significant’ to say the least. During the summer months we were one of the few supports available to those micro enterprises across the country who could not get bank finance. At one stage we were experiencing a 500% increase in demand. As well as a significant increase in new lending we also engaged with all our existing customers, with approximately 70% of these seeking forbearance on their loan due to the impact of the pandemic on their business. On behalf of the MFI staff who have worked tirelessly through the pandemic, I was delighted for them to receive the Chambers Ireland award as it recognises the work MFI has done supporting both Start-ups and more established micro-enterprises across the country.”

Microfinance Ireland Chairman, Cyril Forbes, said: “I am very pleased that MFI was able to play a valuable role in supporting small businesses and help them manage the considerable challenges in 2020.  While the results speak for themselves, MFI could not have provided this much needed financial support to small businesses without the additional funding it received from government and the considerable efforts by the small team in MFI throughout 2020.

Looking ahead, the MFI team will continue to make a strong contribution and deliver on their mandate from government, which is to support small businesses, protect jobs and the economy overall. That support is needed now more than ever.”

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