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A first Spanish microcredit provider under Progress Microfinance

18/01/2012 A first Spanish microcredit provider under Progress Microfinance

Instituto de Crédito y Finanzas Región de Murcia (ICREF) is joining the group of microcredit providers under Progress Microfinance with a senior loan of up to EUR 8 million which is expected generate, thanks to the leverage effect, up to EUR 20 million in microloans, if fully utilised.

Its aim is to support micro-entrepreneurs, including the self-employed in one of the poorest regions in Spain, currently experiencing a high unemployment rate of approximately 25% (in particular of immigrants and young people) higher than the Spanish average of 20,33%.

ICREF plans to launch the microfinance A.G.I.L (Immediate Liquidity Management Support) programme for the Region of Murcia, with the following objectives:

  • Favouring the creation of new enterprises
  • Promoting self-employment
  • Establishing and consolidating an entrepreneurial culture among young people, women and other minorities particularly hit by the crisis
  • Supporting micro-enterprises that have difficulty accessing traditional financing sources.

ICREF is also exploring potential collaboration opportunities with the European Social Fund and with organisations that will provide mentoring and training programmes to the final beneficiaries in the Murcia region.

The European Progress Microfinance Facility (Progress Microfinance) is an EU microfinance initiative established with EUR 200 million of funding from the European Commission and the European Investment Bank and managed by the European Investment Fund.

Progress Microfinance aims to increase access to finance 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. Loans of up to EUR 25,000 are made available through selected microfinance intermediaries participating in the facility.

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