The European Union runs microfinance programmes (loans under €25 000) for self-employed people and businesses with fewer than 10 employees.
The EU does not directly provide microloans (loans up to €25 000) to individuals or businesses, but provides guarantees, loans and equity to intermediaries who can then lend to small businesses or make available equity finance.
As a (future) entrepreneur you can address yourself to a microfinance provider in your country that takes part in one of the following EU initiatives:
CIP (Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme) supports micro-entrepreneurs to start up or expand their business.
Progress Microfinance (European Progress Microfinance Facility) provides microloans to people who lost their jobs and want to start up their own business or to people who want to develop their existing business, but do not have access to traditional banking services.
JEREMIE (Joint European Resources to Micro to medium-sized Enterprises) allows EU countries to use EU structural funds to support small and very small businesses. In some EU countries, microcredit providers benefit from guarantees, loans and equity.
JASMINE (Joint Action to Support Microfinance Institutions in Europe) improves the capacity of microcredit providers and helps them become sustainable and viable operators in the credit market.