Some people worry that a business mentor will poke their noses in unwanted places but according to Tracey Molloy her experience has been quite the opposite. Tracey, with her husband Mark, set up a butcher’s shop in Mullingar after receiving two loans from Microfinance Ireland. Initially their business adviser Breda Finnegan steered them along the loan application path but since then her continuing advice has been ‘simply invaluable’, according to Tracey.
Tracey is very candid on how they used to carry out basic business controls, “We’d look in the fridge – that was our stock control system!” However, when Breda Finnegan got to work on their systems she advised them on every aspect of the business right down to encouraging them to make much higher margin beef burgers made from their own minced beef.
Tracey, who handles all of the administration of the micro business, says she now knows every evening how much profit that the business has made, all thanks to her mentor. And it was Breda’s willingness to stick her nose into every aspect of their business that led to much higher profitability for the butchers. That’s why Tracey encourages any business owner to firstly find a business adviser and then to open every part of the business up to them.
Mark and Tracey set up their business in 2015 taking out their first Microfinance Ireland loan and less than a year later they were was expanding into new premises, backed by a second Microfinance Ireland loan. The couple based their expansion plans on the detailed accounts they had access to because of the work they’ve done with Breda Finnegan. Their new premises is much larger and has much greater footfall than their first shop and though it’s considerably bigger than their first location the couple have big plans on putting the entire floor area to work, again based on the solid advice they have received from their mentor.
Mark and Tracey’s business is being celebrated on Microfinance Day, (October 20th 2016), a Europe-wide event to highlight the benefits and the ready availability of micro-finance loans for all sorts of business, from early stage to the well-established. Microfinance Ireland, set up in 2012, as government initiative to help get people back to work, has already supported the creation of 2,200 jobs and with funds readily available to lend, has further funds to lend.
What does Microfinance Ireland do?
Microfinance Ireland wants to make it easier for businesses to start up, expand, succeed and create jobs. It is targeted at start-up or growing microenterprises across all industry sectors, working with businesses based in the Republic of Ireland, with less than 10 employees and a turnover of less than €2m.
Microfinance Ireland helps by providing unsecured business loans of €2,000 to €25,000 for commercially viable proposals that do not meet conventional bank risk requirements or have even declined bank credit.
Microfinance Ireland is a not-for-profit lender and aims to contact all applicants within 10 working days of their application.
How can I apply?
There are two ways of applying for a Microfinance Ireland loan. You can go directly to Microfinance Ireland or through your Local Enterprise Office. A strong business plan, realistic cash-flow projections and personal bank statements are required for applications. The Microfinance Ireland team and your Local Enterprise Office are more than happy to assist you in your application.
For more information
Check out Microfinance Ireland's website for more information.
Find your Local Enterprise Office.