Microfinance

Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 27th January 2011.

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Photo of Valerie Vaz Valerie Vaz Labour, Walsall South

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what proportion of his Department's project budget has been spent on microfinance projects in the last three years for which figures are available.

Photo of Mark Prisk Mark Prisk The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

Direct funding for community development finance institutions CDFIs (who often provide microfinance) has been provided by regional development agencies. RDAs report around £11 million per year was provided to CDFIs over the last three years. A large proportion on this will have supported microfinance activity. Microfinance and larger loans are also supported by the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (and previously Small Firms Loan Guarantee). However, no information is available about the breakdown between microfinance and larger loans for these schemes. For this reason I cannot provide information on the proportion of the Department's budget which supports microfinance. Government also support microfinance through the Community Investment Tax Relief Scheme which encourages investment enterprises in disadvantaged communities and groups through CDFIs.

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