The European Investment Fund (EIF) and the Lithuanian Credit Union LKU Group (LCCU) have signed a cooperation agreement for a guarantee facility, to launch an €8 million microcredit programme for small businesses in Lithuania. The guarantee is supported under the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI). 11 credit unions, members of the LCCU, will act as financial intermediaries. As a result, much needed financing will become available to small and micro-enterprises in Lithuania through at least 320 new transactions for a maximum loan amount of €25,000. Credits under this agreement will be provided to businesses with no more than nine employees and an annual turnover not exceeding €2 million. This operation follows a previous collaboration with LCCU last year, also supported through the EU EaSI programme. Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, said: “Small businesses need access to financing to start-up or continue their operations as well as to create and maintain jobs, especially in these challenging times. With support from the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation and the EIF, the Lithuanian Central Credit Union will be able to launch an additional €8 million microcredit programme specifically tailored to the financing needs of small businesses in Lithuania.” The press release is available here.