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Commission and European Investment Fund mobilise €237 million in loans to support 20,000 European micro-enterprises

19/10/2015 Two female small entrepreneurs in front of their shop

20,000 micro-enterprises will get access to loans worth 237 million euro 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 finance for micro-enterprises.

The European Commission will contribute with 17 million euro to the guarantees signed today, which is expected to result in microloans worth 237 million euro.

Six guarantee agreements

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 microenterprises 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)
  • Nextebank (Romania),

covering six countries only 5 months following the launch of the EaSI initiative.

EaSI Guarantee and EIF

In total, the EaSI Guarantee of 96 million euro is expected to provide a leverage of more than 500 million euro over the 2014-2020 period in loans 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 euro 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 that are participating in the EaSI programme. These intermediaries will deal with interested parties directly to provide support under the EaSI Guarantee.