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What is it and How does it work?


Business lending includes commercial mortgages (loans used to purchase buildings), equipment lending, and loans intended for expansion. Loans will have a fixed term and the interest rate applied can be either fixed or variable. Capital and interest repayments will be scheduled over the term of the loan.


The main providers of loan finance to the SME/Start-Up sector are the banks (listed below). While there is much talk about the amount of loan finance being made available to the SME/Start-Up sector the banks confirm they are very much open for business. The recent establishment of the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) by the government has added a further €400m of funding aimed specifically at the SME/Start-Up sector.


Alternative sources of lending are emerging.  

BANKING -Short & long term loans


Bank of Ireland


Ulster Bank


At Bank of Ireland, we recognise that businesses need the right kind of funding support to succeed. The good news is, we have credit available and we want to lend. So whether you have an idea for a new business start-up or you are an existing business owner, we want to talk to you.



Business loans are flexible and versatile. Most businesses require a loan at some stage of their development. A business loan allows you leave other credit facilities, such as overdrafts, free for working capital requirements.

Whether you're looking for day-to-day working capital or you want to invest in long-term plans for your business, Ulster Bank can offer you a package that could suit your individual needs. Our various types of business loans can provide you with the spending power and flexibility you need for the short, medium and long term. The Ulster Bank Business Current Account overdraft facility can help you cover unexpected expenses.



Any established and creditworthy business, whether it is a limited company, sole trader or business partnership, can apply for a loan on LinkedFinance. Some conditions apply. These include:

A If you are a sole trader, you must be a permanent resident of Ireland. B If your business is a partnership, it must have a permanent place of business in Ireland and at least half of its partners must be permanent residents of Ireland .C If your business is a limited company, it must be registered with the Companies Registration Office (CRO). It must have filed accounts with the CRO (if required to do so) for at least the past two years and at least half of its directors must be Irish residents. D Your business must have been actively trading for at least the past two years. E Your business must meet our minimum credit risk and fraud criteria. Your business must not have any outstanding judgements for more than €250.




If you have big plans for your small business, the SBCI can help you fund them.

•A new, strategic SME funding company, the SBCI’s goal is to ensure access to flexible funding for Irish SMEs by facilitating the provision of:

•Flexible products with longer maturity and capital repayment flexibility, subject to credit approval;

Lower cost funding to financial institutions which is passed on to SMEs;

Microfinance Ireland

Like a bank MFI offers interest-bearing loans but, unlike a bank, they operate on a not-for-profit basis. Helping to create or sustain a job is at the heart of MFI business. SMEs may have difficulty in accessing credit from banks – due to economic difficulties or for reasons such as lack of security, current level of bank debt, difficulty with existing borrowings, or lack of a track record. Microfinance Ireland has been initiated by the Government to provide another funding avenue to assist people who are finding it difficult to access credit, which in turn will help to create and sustain employment. Irish based SMEs can apply to MicroFinance Ireland for unsecured business loans from €2,000 up to €25,000.

NI Small Business Loan Fund

As part of its Access to Finance Strategy, Invest Northern Ireland has appointed Ulster Community 

Investment PLC (“UCI”) to manage and deliver the NI Small Business Loan Fund. The aim of the Fund 

is to ensure that businesses are not held back because they cannot access finance. UCI, a subsidiary 

of Ulster Community Investment Trust Ltd (UCIT), is authorised and regulated by the Financial 

Conduct Authority (FCA) (Firm ref no: 589719), and also holds an interim permission (No. 652674) 

with the FCA for consumer credit activities.

Finance Ireland

Finance Ireland Ltd is a privately owned financial services Group. We have businesses that specialise

in Motor Finance, Finance & Leasing (incorporating Hire Purchase, Contract Hire, Vehicle & LCV 

leasing, Short-term Car Rental), Commercial Mortgages and Asset Management (primarily debt 

purchase and recovery). We are continually seeking further suitable opportunities in order to add 

value to the Group.

Western Development Commission

The WDC Investment Fund (WIF) is  a WDC­managed fund providing risk  capital (seed  and venture capital and loan finance) to micro, small and medium­sized (SMEs) and social  enterprises in the Western Region covering the counties of Clare, Donegal, Galway, Leitrim,  Mayo, Sligo & Roscommon.   ­

   - Small and medium­sized enterprises (SMEs) through our SME Investment Fund ­

   - Community and not­for­profit enterprises through our Community Loan Fund

   - Micro enterprises through our Micro­Loan Fund for the Creative Industries

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