As the Minister knows, almost 20% of the world’s population are members of co-operatives of one kind or another in an economic sphere with perhaps 300 million workers. We have our own tradition with the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society and the credit union movement in particular. I recently asked a series of questions about the kind of supports we give co-operatives and whether the 31 local enterprise offices, Enterprise Ireland and other organisations could do more to promote the co-operative ideal and encourage more startups.
When the Minister and the Minister of State are rambling around the country, they always say that access to working capital is the key issue for SMEs. How are Microfinance Ireland and credit schemes for indigenous companies performing, in particular the credit guarantee scheme, CGS, 2017? The counter guarantee scheme still awaits the publication of a statutory instrument.
The Government announced a new €300 million Brexit fund. How will that operate in particular to support SMEs?