The European Investment Fund (EIF) and ALTUM, a state-owned development institution of Latvia, have signed a microfinance guarantee agreement under the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI).
This new EaSI guarantee agreement allows ALTUM to provide loans to 600 micro-entrepreneurs over the next 3 years across Latvia.
Micro-entrepreneurs will be able to benefit from loans at a reduced interest rate with lower collateral requirements under the EU supported programme. ALTUM will primarily target start-ups and small businesses.
Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, said: "With the help of EU funding, ALTUM will improve access to finance for about 600 micro-enterprises in Latvia, many of whom face difficulties in accessing credit from traditional banking sources. This new EaSI guarantee agreement will allow micro-entrepreneurs to benefit from loans with favourable conditions. This shows again that the European Commission, through the EaSI programme, is fully committed to boosting employment in Europe and getting more people into jobs."
EIF will not provide direct financial support to enterprises but will implement the facility through local financial intermediaries, such as microfinance, social finance and guarantee institutions, as well as banks active across the EU-28 and additional countries that are participating in the EaSI programme.
These intermediaries will deal with interested parties directly to provide support under the EaSI Guarantee.