Growth and Sustainability

Loan Scheme

Funding for

Growth and Sustainability

A long-term low-cost scheme to support eligible businesses, including farmers and fishers, when investing in climate action and environmental sustainability.

If you are interested in discussing how the loan can benefit your enterprise, fill in our expression of interest form for a call back from one of our SME lending specialists.

About the Loan

The Growth and Sustainability Loan Scheme (GSLS) is established and offered by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) and benefits from a guarantee that has been provided by the European Investment Fund (EIF), with support from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE) and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM).

A guarantee fee is payable by the borrower and will be incorporated into the overall interest rate collected by the on-lender, payable to SBCI.

How to apply

Applying for a loan is a two step process, beginning with an eligibility check on the SBCI Hub. If you want to simplify the journey or have questions along the way, our lending experts are here to assist you every step of the way.  Simply fill out our expression of interest form above for a call back.

Step 1

Applicants must register for an account (or login) on the SBCI Hub and submit an online Eligibility Application Form to check if they can access the scheme.
Once the online form is completed, successful applicants will be issued with an eligibility code.

Step 2

The applicant must provide this eligibility code to Finance Ireland when submitting their credit application.
If you have not yet received your credit application form, please fill in the expression of interest form above for a call back from one of SME experts, who can guide you through the application process.

Case Study

We met with Des Adams, owner of the main Hyundai and Fiat Professional dealership, Adams of Tralee.

Availing of the SBCI-supported Growth and Sustainability Loan Scheme (GSLS), Adams of Tralee made a significant investment in solar energy with the ambition of improving the energy efficiency of their enterprise.

In this case study, Des discusses the impact of the investment from both a financial and sustainability perspective, as well as the funding process, from application to drawdown.

Key Features

Useful Information

Viable SME and Small Mid-Cap businesses, including farmers and fishers, that meet the eligibility criteria.

SMEs are defined by the standard EU definition contained in Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC as enterprises that:

  • have fewer than 250 employees
  • have an annual turnover not exceeding €50 million and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding €43 million
  • are independent and autonomous, and not part of a wider group of enterprises
  • have less than 25% of their capital held by public bodies

A Small Mid-Cap is an enterprise that is not an SME but has fewer than 500 employees.

In addition, in order to be eligible for the scheme, SMEs must be established in an EU Member State and operating in the Republic of Ireland.

An SME or Small Mid-Cap that:

  • does not satisfy the eligibility criteria (see section below)
  • is bankrupt or being wound up or having its affairs administered by courts
  • is subject to, or fulfils the criteria under domestic law for being placed in, collective insolvency proceedings
  • in the last five years has entered into an arrangement in the context of being bankrupt, or wound up, or having its affairs administered by courts, or has been the subject of a final judgment or final administrative decision for being in breach of its obligations relating to the payment of taxes or social security contributions, or it or any of the persons having powers of representation, decision-making or control over it has been convicted by a final judgment or a final administrative decision for grave professional misconduct, where such conduct denotes wrongful intent or gross negligence, or it or persons having powers of representation, decision-making or control over it has been the subject of a final judgment for fraud, corruption, participation in a criminal organisation, money laundering or terrorist financing, terrorist offences or offences linked to terrorist activities, or inciting, aiding, abetting or attempting to commit such offences, or child labour and other forms of trafficking in human beings
  • has a substantial focus in one or more of the excluded activities or restricted sectors, or
  • has been convicted of an offence or subject to a ruling concerning professional conduct, fraud, corruption, involvement in a criminal organisation, money laundering or any other illegal activity where such illegal activity is detrimental to the EU’s financial interest.
An SME or Small Mid-Cap must satisfy all of the following criteria:
  • It is established in an EU Member State and operating in the Republic of Ireland
  • It does not have a substantial focus on one or more excluded sectors
  • It is not established in a non-compliant jurisdiction
  • It is not delinquent or in default in respect of any other loan or lease either granted by the on-lender or by another financial institution unless (i) it has been delinquent for less than 20 days and (ii) such delinquency does not dissuade the on-lender from lending to the SME in accordance with its credit policy
  • It is not engaged in any illegal activities
  • It is not a sanctioned person or in breach of restrictive measures
  • It is not subject to any preferential tax measure regarded as harmful under the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes

Loans under the Growth and Sustainable Loan Scheme will be eligible for either growth and resilience investment or climate action and environmentally sustainable purposes.

The Growth and Sustainability Loan Scheme operates under the following State aid measures:

De Minimis Regulation
  • Small Mid-Caps
  • SMEs borrowing funds for climate action and environmental sustainability measures
Article 17 of the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER)
  • SMEs borrowing funds to invest in growth and resilience measures
Article 29 of the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER)
  • SMEs in the fishery and aquaculture sector implementing process and organisational innovation projects
Articles 14 and 17 of the Agriculture Block Exemption Regulation (ABER)
  • SMEs active in the primary production of agricultural products

For a more extensive description of the State aid measures applicable to the scheme, visit the SBCI website.

Applicants must not use the loan proceeds for:
  • refinancing of existing term loan debt
  • financing of specific export operations
  • financing current expenditure linked to the export activity
  • financing contingent upon the use of domestic over imported products
  • financing the establishment and operation of a distribution network in other Member States, or
  • additional restrictions apply to loans covered by Article 14 of the Agriculture Block Exemption Regulation (“ABER”)

For a full list of Excluded Activities, visit the SBCI website.

NACE is the standard system used in the European Union for classifying business activity.

Download a list of NACE Codes applicable for the Scheme.

Click here to view a list of NACE Codes applicable for the Scheme.

Additional Information

The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) is owned by the Department of Finance and is Ireland’s National Promotional Bank. The SBCI avails of both national and European funding for the purpose of making low-cost credit available and accessible to Irish businesses. Fore more information on the SBCI and its funding supports click see more.
The Growth and Sustainability Loan Scheme is provided by Finance Ireland Leasing, a specialist in SME and consumer finance. To contact or find out more about some other products provided by Finance Ireland Leasing, please click see more.

Or Get In Touch

Call Us

01 639 1370

Opening Hours

9:00 AM - 17:30 PM

Postal Address

Finance Ireland Leasing,
23 Shelbourne Road,
Ballsbridge, Dublin 4

Regulatory Information

WARNING: You may have to pay charges if you repay early, in full or in part, a fixed rate credit facility.

WARNING: IF YOU DO NOT MEET THE REPAYMENTS ON YOUR CREDIT FACILITY AGREEMENT, YOUR ACCOUNT WILL GO INTO ARREARS. THIS MAY AFFECT YOUR CREDIT RATING WHICH MAY LIMIT YOUR ABILITY TO ACCESS CREDIT IN THE FUTURE.

Representative Example for loan amount €100,000 and term duration of 84 months:

8.34% Annual Percentage Rate (APR) representative is inclusive of a documentation fee of €75 and based on a fixed interest rate of 8.01%. 84 monthly instalments of €1,559.22. Total cost of credit €31,049.48 (inc documentation fee). Total amount repayable €131,049.48.

Representative Example for loan amount €100,000 and term duration of 120 months:

8.33% Annual Percentage Rate (APR) representative is inclusive of a documentation fee of €75 and based on a fixed interest rate of 8.01%. 120 monthly instalments of €1,213.91. Total cost of credit €45,744.20 (inc documentation fee). Total amount repayable €145,744.20.