Network North Tipperary and Enterprise Board bring Norma Smurfit to Nenagh to explain the new Microfinance Loan Scheme

Network North Tipperary in conjunction with the Tipperary North County Enterprise Board is inviting all female entrepreneurs to attend a free information event designed to give details of the new loan scheme announced last year by the Government under the Action Plan for Jobs.  The event will take place on Tuesday 12th February 2013 at 7.30pm at the Abbey Court Hotel, Nenagh and will be the second in the Network’s calendar for 2013, promising to be of interest to women contemplating self employment or those trying to expand their business and finding it difficult to access finance.
Norma Smurfit is a well known philanthropist, business figure and long time member of Network Ireland.  Norma will share her experience and explain the rationale behind Microfinance.   She will be accompanied by Ms. Lorna Coleman, Project Manager with Microfinance Ireland who will encourage small businesses to apply for the new Microfinance Ireland loan scheme if they have been refused credit by the banks.
To apply for loans of up to €25,000, start-ups or small businesses employing fewer than ten people must have a commercially viable business proposal and the Enterprise Boards can provide assistance with the application process.
Aimed at companies with less than ten employees and a turnover of less than €2million, the microfinance scheme is run by Microfinance Ireland in partnership with the County and City Enterprise Boards. Nationwide, the ten-year microfinance scheme is expected to assist 5,500 micro-enterprises, helping to create an estimated 7,700 jobs in Ireland.
Rita Guinan, CEO from the Tipperary North County Enterprise Board explains: “Loans under the new microfinance scheme can be up to €25,000 and the money can be used towards business start-up costs, expansion plans or general working capital. This new loan scheme is filling a gap in the market, to help secure credit for more micro-enterprises in more local areas. The Enterprise Boards can help applicants with advice around business plans, cash flow projections and the application process itself.”
The Chairperson of Microfinance Ireland, Ms. Geraldine Kelly, said: “The scheme is open to sole traders, partnerships and limited companies, across all industry types and business sectors, from services to manufacturing. We’re also encouraging new start-ups to apply, in addition to micro-enterprises looking to expand. Working in partnership with the County and City Enterprise Boards, our doors are now open for business in every county.”

The guarantee agreement, signed between the European Investment Fund and Microfinance Ireland,  is given under Progress Microfinance, managed by the European Investment Fund on behalf of the European  Investment Bank. Further information on the application process is available from and the local County Enterprise Board who plan to repeat this information session in Thurles on 13th March for the wider public.  County and City Enterprise Boards are funded by the Irish Government and by the European Union.

To book a place at the Nenagh Seminar please e-mail Sharon McMeel at

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