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 the Social Finance Foundation.

The Social Finance Initiative is a not-for-profit company 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.

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.

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.

Action Plan for Jobs Logo

Action Plan for Jobs (APJ)

Microfinance Ireland was set up under the 2012 Action Plan for Jobs.

The Action Plan for Jobs is a whole-of-Government initiative under which all Government Departments and Agencies work together to deliver on the agreed action points for each year. Since APJ was introduced it has been one of the Government’s key instruments to support job creation.

To see the Action Plan for Jobs 2016 please visit this link.

Dept of Business, Enterprise & Innovation

Department of Business, Enterprise & Innovation (DBEI)

Microfinance Ireland is part-funded by the Irish Government by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation as part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs.

The mission of the DBEI 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.

DBEI is currently overseen by:
Heather Humphreys, TD, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation
Pat Breen, TD, Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection

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