Partners & Programmes

In order to better support the needs of small businesses in Ireland, MFI works hand-in-hand with a number of other key programmes and business support agencies:

Social Finance Foundation

Social Finance Foundation (SFF)

Microfinance Ireland is a subsidiary of Social Finance Foundation.

Social Finance Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation established to act as a wholesale supplier of funding for social finance. Social finance is about the availability of loan finance at affordable interest rates – primarily to community-based projects or projects which generate a social benefit and often experience difficulties in accessing loans from mainstream lending institutions.

Microfinance Ireland benefits in part from loan funding from the Irish Banks through Social Finance Foundation.

Social Finance Foundation

Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI)

Microfinance Ireland (MFI) has been supported with funding from the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI).

The SBCI was set up in September 2014 to ensure that Irish SMEs have access to stable, lower cost and long-term funding options. Since its commenced operation in 2015, the SBCI has built out its range of supports from providing low-cost liquidity to delivering risk-sharing guarantee schemes. These supports have helped to create a more competitive SME finance market and have provided more choice of lender for SMEs.

See for more information.

Dept of Business, Enterprise & Innovation

Department of Enterprise,Trade and Employment (DETE)

Enterprise and Employment as part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs.

The mission of DETE is to support the creation of jobs by promoting the development of a competitive business environment in which enterprises will operate to high standards and grow in sustainable markets. The department has committed itself to prioritising investment in science, technology and innovation and the development of the knowledge society.

DETE is currently overseen by:
Leo Varadkar, Tanaiste, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Damien English, Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail

Robert Troy, Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation

Local Enterprise Office (LEO)

Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs)

Microfinance Ireland works very closely with the Local Enterprise Offices to promote enterprise development and creation and sustainment of jobs. The Local Enterprise Office (LEO) is a first stop shop for small businesses locally.

There are 31 Local Enterprise Offices across the country that provide advice, information and support for people interested in starting up a new business or already in business including entrepreneurs, early stage promoters, start ups and small business looking to expand.

LEOs can provide loan applicants with considerable support and guidance to prepare a loan application. They also provide ongoing support for approved Microfinance Ireland loan applicants through the provision of mentoring.

Check out for the full list of services and supports.

Social Finance Foundation

Bank Referrals Programme

MFI enjoys a referral relationship with the three main Business Banks in Ireland. These Banks can make loan referrals to MFI to provide funding to small businesses in instances where they are unable to do so.


Local Development Companies (LDCs)

Local Development Companies (LDCs)

Microfinance Ireland also works closely with Local Development Companies (also known as Local Area Partnerships or LEADER Partnerships) which are another enterprise support organisation that work with individuals and communities to support enterprise development in their locality. 

There are 48 Local Development Companies who can support you in developing a business idea into a trading business.

You can apply for a Small Loan through your LDC and in doing so can avail of the following:

  • A reduced interest rate
  • Pre-application support

See for more information on what the Local Development Companies offer.