To promote jobs and growth in Europe, social and micro-enterprises will soon have access to over 500 million euro of finance. This is the result of a new mandate agreement signed today between the European Commission and the European Investment Fund.
Support will be made available under the European Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI), which will provide a 96 million euro guarantee for the period 2014-2020 which is expected to mobilise over 500 million euro of loans.
The European Union Programme targets individuals who wish to start or further develop their own micro or social enterprises, in particular people who have difficulties in entering the job market or in accessing finance.
The guarantee for microfinance or social finance providers is managed and implemented by the EIF on behalf of the European Commission. The 96 million euro EaSI Guarantee will offer credit risk protection for lending products provided to micro and social enterprises. The previous Progress Microfinance initiative helped to create and preserve more than 47,000 jobs. EaSI will build on its successes.
The EIF will not provide direct financial support to enterprises but will implement the initiative through local financial intermediaries, such as microfinance 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 directly with interested parties to provide support under the facility.