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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Creation of Enterprise
Through Self Employment

First-Step was set up in 1991 as a not for profit organisation by Norma Smurfit and a group of like minded individuals. The objective of First-Step is to provide microfinance loans (i.e. loans less than €25,000) to start up or expanding small and medium enterprises for job creation or protection.  Loans are targeted at people who have difficulty securing finance from traditional banking sources. To date First-Step has assisted 1,500 projects. It is estimated these projects have created in excess of 3,000 employment opportunities.
More information

European Investment Fund

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First-Step is the beneficiary of an SME Guarantee Facility created within the framework of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP 2007-2013) of the European Community. This Guarantee is operated by the European Investment Fund on behalf of the Commission.
The objective of the Guarantee is to encourage organisations like First-Step to provide financing to micro-enterprises and to mitigate a part of the risk in relation to bad debts on the loan portfolio

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