JASMINE: Joint Action to Support Micro-finance Institutions in Europe
What is JASMINE?
This action in the field of microcredit is being developed in the framework of JEREMIE and the Communication on microcredit adopted by the Commission on 17 November 2007: "A European initiative for the development of micro-credit in support of growth and employment" (COM (2007)0807)
Its objective is to:
- Disseminate good practice in the EU as regards microcredit lending.
- Support the development of microcredit providers active in the European Union in various fields such as institutional governance, information systems, risk management and strategic planning (capacity building).
- Help these intermediaries become sustainable and viable operators on commercial terms.
Originally the JASMINE TA Facility provided various financial and non-financial services to MFIs, but the concept has evolved over the years. As it stands now, the JASMINE TA Facility concentrates on delivering TA to microcredit providers, while financing is made available to microcredit-providers through the European Progress Microfinance Facility (EPMF) managed by the EIF.
Some Member states and regions have established financial instruments under the JEREMIE initiative and allocated part of their structural funds appropriations to these instruments. The objective is to facilitate access to microcredit lending for those micro-enterprises and micro-entrepreneurs who do not have access to traditional banking services.
The JASMINE CONCEPT
A range of consistent tools and services are developed under JASMINE. They all focus on improving the quality of microcredit providers and establish good practice in this sector. Two types of services are made available:
- Capacity building aimed at beneficiaries selected via Calls for Expression of Interest, managed by the EIF
- Microfinance Development tools and services for the entire microfinance sector
Technical assistance for selected beneficiaries
The European Investment Fund (EIF) was appointed by the Commission to setup and manage the JASMINE Technical Assistance Facility for selected beneficiaries active in the European Union.
The selection of the beneficiaries results from a due diligence conducted at the end of a "Call for Expression of Interest" process launched by the EIF once or twice a year.
The selected micro-credit providers / micro-finance institutions selected by the EIF benefit from a range of services made available free of charge. These services include:
- either an evaluation / diagnosis of the structure, organisation and operating mode of the selected micro-credit providers/MFI or an institutional rating performed by a specialised rating agency (Planet Rating or MicroFinanza);
- tailor-made training for the staff and the management of the selected MFIs provided by expert consultants (Microfinance Center) following the evaluation / rating exercise;
For more information on the Calls for expression of interest and conditions of application see: http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/microfinance/JASMINE/index.htm
Target microcredit providers
The JASMINE Technical Assistance targets the following types of Microcredit Providers, active in the European Union:
Non bank financial institutions
- Greenfield MFIs willing to improve their internal processes through (i) an independent assessment of their institution and (ii) tailored trainings to the staff;
- mature MFIs willing to increase the quality of their operations through (i) an assessment report or a rating report likely to facilitate fundraising and (ii) tailored consulting services to the staff and the management team;
Licensed banks never rated by specialised microfinance rating agencies, providing microcredit products and willing to receive (i) an independent opinion on their microcredit operations by specialized European microcredit rating agencies as well as (ii) tailored coaching to increase the staff knowledge in microfinance.
Selected beneficiaries since 2010
Capacity Building Services and tools for all EU microcredit providers
In addition to the technical assistance provided to selected beneficiaries JASMINE also provides tools and services available for the entire microcredit sector of the European Union.
EUROPEAN CODE OF GOOD CONDUCT FOR MICROCREDIT PROVISION
The document provides standards in terms of management, governance, risk management, reporting, and consumer and investor relations that are common to the microcredit sector in the European Union.
JASMINE HELPDESK (*)
The JASMINE HELPDESK allows you to lodge detailed information requests on microcredit and microfinance in the EU (including JASMINE, the European Code of Good Conduct for Microcredit Provision, …).
The enquiries are treated by the "European Microfinance Network" (EMN)
MICROFINANCE DEVELOPMENT SERVICES (*)
Specialised workshops dedicated to the dissemination of good practice in the field of microcredit are organised by EMN on behalf of the Commission
More information on the workshops: http://www.european-microfinance.org/jasmine-mds-workshops.php
The Commission is preparing a web application complementing the Code of Good Conduct.
(*) Service managed by the EIF, under contract with the Commission
- JASMINE Workshops organised by EMN: http://www.european-microfinance.org/jasmine-mds-workshops.php
- Past events
- 10 October 2011: Open Days of Regional Policy 2011: The jilted generation?
- 6 October 2010: Open Days of Regional Policy 2010: Streamlining EU micro-credit initiatives
- 6 October 2009: Open Days of Regional Policy 2009: JASMINE, a way to promote micro-credit in Europe
- 9 October 2008: Open Days of Regional Policy 2008: Micro-credit for regional and local development
- 10 September 2008: Launch of the JASMINE initiative to develop micro- finance institutions in Europe in support of growth and employment