First microfinance deal in Belgium under EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and microStart have signed the first microfinance guarantee agreement aimed at supporting micro enterprises in Belgium under the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI). This new EaSI guarantee agreement with microStart covers a loan portfolio of €15 million for micro-borrowers in Belgium. microStart will launch a new loan product – mS Scale Up, targeting a large spectrum of micro-loan products for micro-entrepreneurs seeking to further develop their businesses. This new product will offer longer maturities and higher maximum loan amounts. Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, said: “Thanks to EU funding covering a loan portfolio of €15 million, some 1300 micro-entrepreneurs in Belgium, and in particular those excluded from mainstream credit, will be able to benefit from loans on preferential terms. The funding will also allow microStart to launch a totally new product to provide even more support to microbusinesses seeking to expand. Through our EaSI programme, we remain committed to boosting employment in Europe and getting more people into jobs, with particular efforts directed towards the most vulnerable people in the labour market.”