The Irish Banking Federation (IBF) welcomes today’s launch by Minister Richard Bruton of the Microfinance Scheme – which is designed to support commercially-viable microenterprises that do not meet the conventional risk criteria applied by banks.
IBF and member banks have been working closely with Government in preparing for the implementation and successful delivery of this important initiative.
Banking sector support for this particular initiative is reflected in the €15 million competitively-priced loan finance from banks that will be provided to supplement the initial €10 million of Exchequer funding of the Microenterprise Loan Fund.
Banking sector support for microenterprises is also reflected in the €25 million seed capital and additional funding provided to enable the establishment in 2007 and ongoing operation of the Social Finance Foundation (SFF), which will control and manage the Microenterprise Loan Fund. The SFF operates as a wholesale supplier of social finance to community-based and micro enterprise projects all over the country and has to date approved €40 million in loans – 26% of which has gone to microenterprises.
The Microenterprise Loan Fund, as announced by Government, will provide loans of up to €25,000 to commercially viable microenterprises that do not meet conventional risk criteria applied by banks. The Fund will be operated by Microfinance Ireland as a subsidiary of Social Finance Foundation (SFF).
The Irish Banking Federation (IBF) is the principal voice of the banking and financial services sector in Ireland, representing over 70 member institutions and associates, including licensed domestic and foreign banks and institutions operating in the financial marketplace here.
Minister of State for Small Business, John Perry TD, today launched Business Plan Guidance, a joint initiative by the Irish Banking Federation (IBF) and the four accountancy institutes represented by the Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies-Ireland (CCAB-I) at an event in The Conrad Hotel, Dublin. The Business Plan Guidance is designed to assist SMEs and microenterprises in developing and presenting a robust business plan and cash flow forecast as a key part of an application for credit.
Speaking at the event, the President of the Irish Banking Federation (IBF), John Reynolds said, “I am very pleased that the banking and accountancy sectors have worked so productively together in order to develop the Business Plan Guidance. The unique role which SME’s play in the Irish economy is unquestioned and they deserve the maximum support possible from the banking sector – and I want to restate our commitment to maximise the supply of credit to viable businesses with a sustainable future. We believe that the Business Plan Guidance will prove to be a valuable aid to SMEs and microenterprises.”
CCAB-I Chairman, Austin Slattery said, “We feel the Business Plan Guidance will play a tremendously important role in working towards improving the economic conditions for SME’s in Ireland. Availability of credit and access to capital are crucial to the survival and development of business, by collaborating with the leading banks we have taken a positive step to increase a better understanding between all parties involved in this process –we have agreed a common language and framework which is central to the understanding of a business plan. As accountants we help businesses to plan their futures in developing strategies, we believe this is an important tool that will turn good ideas into concrete proposals and in doing so get credit flowing in our economy again.”
The four accountancy institutes represented by the Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies-Ireland (CCAB-I) include the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland.
For further information on the Business Plan Guidance as well as other guides for business, please click here.
Note: To access John Reynolds’s speech, please click here.