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Programmes encouraging the development of microfinance in the European Union

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Programmes encouraging the development of microfinance in the European Union

Since 2010, the European Union has created programmes to develop microfinance in Europe and open up credit to people and some enterprises finding it difficult to access conventional credit.

ACTS

283/2010/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 March 2010 establishing a European Progress Microfinance Facility for employment and social inclusion.

1296/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on a European Union programme for employment and social innovation (EaSI) and amending Decision No 283/2010/EU establishing a European Progress Microfinance Facility for employment and social inclusion.

SUMMARY

283/2010/EU establishing a European Progress Microfinance Facility for employment and social inclusion).

This instrument, which had a budget of €100 million over 4 years (2010-13), was designed to make microfinance more easily accessible to the following target groups:

  • the unemployed, people at risk of losing their jobs, the non-working population, people facing the threat of social exclusion and vulnerable people who wish to create or expand their own microenterprise;
  • microenterprises, especially those employing the people listed under the previous point.

For the 2014-20 period, this initiative has been included the microfinance and social entrepreneurship axis of the European Union programme for employment and social innovation 1296/2013) that has taken over from the Progress Microfinance instrument. This axis has 21 % of the global EaSI budget, i.e. €193 million over 7 years.

Not only does this new instrument allow target populations and enterprises to access microfinance more easily, it also aims to:

  • build up the institutional capacity of microcredit providers;
  • facilitate access to financing for social enterprises with a turnover or annual balance sheet of no more than €30 million, by providing them with equity, quasi-equity, lending instruments and grants up to a limit of €500,000.

The microfinance and social entrepreneurship axis can be accessed by public and private bodies established in the EU countries, EFTA countries and candidate (or potential candidate) countries, provided that they grant microfinance to people and microenterprises or financing to social enterprises The EU support mainly is through the financial instruments provided for in the Union’s financial regulations.

REFERENCES

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal of the European Union

283/2010/EU

8.4.2010

-

OJ L 87 of 7.4.2010

1296/2013

21.12.2013

-

OJ L 347, 20.12.2013

Last updated: 09.06.2014

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