€237 million in loans to support 20,000 European micro-enterprises

The European Commission and the European Investment Fund open up access to finance for microenterprises, mobilising €237 million in loans to support 20,000 European micro-enterprises.

20.000 micro-enterprises will get access to loans worth €237 million under the European Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI). Today, the European Investment Fund (EIF), which manages the EaSI guarantee on behalf of the European Commission, and six microfinance institutions are signing guarantee agreements that will open up access to finance for microenterprises. The European Commission will contribute with €17 million to the guarantees signed today, which are expected to result in microloans worth €237 million.

The six guarantee agreements target those who wish to start or further develop their own micro-enterprises, in particular people who have difficulties in entering the job market or in accessing finance.

These first deals, enabling loans contracts to micro-enterprises, will be signed between the EIF and Qredits Microfinanciering (The Netherlands), Association pour le Droit à l’Initiative Economique (France), Microfinance Ireland (Ireland), PerMicro (Italy), Laboral Kutxa/ Caja Laboral Popular (Spain) and Nextebank (Romania), covering six countries and only 5 months after the launch of the EaSI initiative.

In total, the EaSI Guarantee of €96 million is expected to provide a leverage of more than €500 million in loans over the 2014-2020 period in order to promote jobs and growth in Europe for the next 15 years, unlocking a total of 30,800 microloans and 1,000 loans to social enterprises. The €96 million guarantee for microfinance or social finance providers is managed by the EIF on behalf of the European Commission.

The EIF will not provide direct financial support to enterprises but will implement the facility through local financial intermediaries, such as microfinance, social finance and guarantee institutions, as well as banks active across the EU-28 and additional countries participating in the EaSI programme. These intermediaries will deal with interested parties directly to provide support under the EaSI Guarantee.

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