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Enhanced access to micro-credits for Cypriots to start their own business

28/07/2011 Two youngsters looking at a laptop and laughing

Around 1000 self-employed, sole traders, female entrepreneurs and start ups in Cyprus will benefit from micro-credits to start or further develop their own business, as an 8 million loan agreement has been signed today.

This senior loan agreement will allow the Cooperative Central Bank, through its network of Co-operative Credit Societies to provide enhanced access to finance to micro-entrepreneurs and will, in particular, improve access to credit for micro-borrowers even in rural and remote parts of Cyprus.

This transaction was signed under the European Progress Microfinance Facility (Progress Microfinance), funded by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank and managed by the European Investment Fund.

Progress Microfinance is an EU microfinance initiative established with EUR 200 million of funding from the European Commission and the European Investment Bank.

Progress Microfinance aims to increase access to finance – loans below € 25 000 – for micro-entrepreneurs, including the self-employed. It has a particular focus on, but is not restricted to, groups with limited access to the conventional credit market. Examples include female entrepreneurs, young entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs belonging to a minority group, entrepreneurs with a disability, sole traders etc.

The European Progress Microfinance Fund does not provide direct financing to micro-entrepreneurs or individuals, but it works through microfinance providers, such as Cooperative Central Bank in Cyprus.