Thursday, 12 July 2012

Questions (32)

Dessie Ellis


30 Deputy Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the target date to secure European Investment Fund approval for the microfinance guarantee facility. [33870/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation)

The European Progress Microfinance Facility is a European Investment Fund (EIF) initiative to support entrepreneurship and employment through microfinance activities. Capped guarantees may be provided to eligible intermediaries partially covering their portfolios of micro-loans, or loan facilities may be availed of to increase lending to micro-enterprises.

Initial engagement has taken place between the Social Finance Foundation, who will administer the Microenterprise Loan Fund on my behalf, and the EIF in relation to availing of the EU Progress Microfinance Guarantee Facility. Formal application will be made for the EU Progress Microfinance Guarantee Facility following enactment of the legislation, which provides for the establishment of the microfinance lending entity, Microfinance Ireland, later this month. A rigorous due diligence process is required to secure EIF accreditation, and this will take place during the months of August and September, once the legislation is enacted.