€1 billion mark reached in EU support for micro-entrepreneurs

Since the EU started its microfinance initiatives, we have signed agreements with more than 100 microfinance providers, to support over 100,000 micro-entrepreneurs in 23 EU Member States. This cooperation between the European Commission, the European Investment Fund (EIF) and microfinance providers aims to mobilise over €1 billion of microfinance loans for micro-borrowers across the EU underProgress Microfinanceand theEU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI). Target borrowers include unemployed, young self-employed, minority groups, women and rural communities where microfinance can help with work-integration, health care, social housing and education. Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, said: “We believe that, by improving access to finance and empowering people to use their skills and talents, microfinance opens up opportunities that have huge potential in terms of job creation, as it gives entrepreneurs the springboard they need to start and develop a business. Thanks to our EU funding, the availability of microcredit on the market has been increased and is expected to generate over €1 billion of microloans across Europe.” More information can be found here. In addition, today the European Investment Fund (EIF) and Millennium bcp have signed a guarantee agreement aimed at supporting micro-enterprises in Portugal under the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI). This new EaSI guarantee agreement with Millennium bcp will cover a loan portfolio of €18 million for around 900 micro-borrowers currently excluded from access to finance. The EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI) Guarantee scheme was launched in 2015 and is funded by the European Commission and managed by the EIF. More information can be foundonline.