Banca Valsabbina and the European Investment Fund have signed a social entrepreneurship guarantee agreement worth €10 million in Italy under the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI).
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Social enterprises will benefit from loans up to €500,000. The average financing amount will be around €140 000, allowing Banca Valsabbina to support around 70 new projects.
Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, stated: “Thanks to EU funding under our EaSI programme, Banca Valsabbina will develop new lending activities worth €10 million to finance social enterprises in Italy, many of whom face difficulties in accessing credit from traditional bank finance due to a perceived higher risk profile or insufficient collateral. Ensuring equal opportunities, inclusion, and access to labour markets by supporting social enterprises demonstrates our commitment to building a fairer Europe and strengthening its social dimension.”
The EU financing allows for the European Investment Fund (EIF, part of the European Investment Bank Group) to guarantee 80% of the loss on each loan up to an estimated maximum total loss for the entire portfolio.
The EaSI Guarantee agreement will enable Banca Valsabbina to offer loans with smaller collaterals from the social enterprises when the loan request is being submitted and apply a lower interest rate on the sums disbursed.
The European Commission's Programme for Employment and Social Innovation is a funding programme designed to
- promote a high level of quality and sustainable employment,
- guarantee adequate and decent social protection,
- combat social exclusion and poverty and
- improve working conditions across Europe.