(27 October 2016) – Since the EU started its microfinance initiatives, more than 100 agreements have been signed with microfinance providers, to support over 100,000 micro-entrepreneurs in 23 EU member states.
This cooperation between the European Investment Fund (EIF), the European Commission, and microfinance providers aims to mobilise over EUR 1 billion of microfinance loans for micro-borrowers across the EU under Progress Microfinance and the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI).
Progress was launched in 2010 to increase the availability of microcredit – loans below EUR 25 000 – for setting up or developing a small business. The EU’s support to microfinance is now being implemented through the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI).
Target borrowers include unemployed micro-entrepreneurs, young self-employed, minority groups, women and rural communities where microfinance can help with work-integration, health care, social housing and education.