The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Nest Bank have signed a microfinance agreement aimed at supporting micro-businesses in Poland under the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI).
This is the second EaSI transaction to benefit from the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe. This extension of the Investment Plan's guarantee function to the EaSI demonstrates the positive potential for complementarities and synergies between the EFSI and other EU funding sources.
Thanks to the financial backing of the European Commission, EIF is providing a guarantee which will enable Nest Bank to provide over EUR 9 million worth of loans on favourable conditions to about 1 300 microbusinesses in Poland over the next three years.
Marianne Thyssen, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, said: “I am delighted that the European Fund for Strategic Investments is being used in combination with the Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI) to allow it to maximise its impact and help deliver our social agenda. Microbusinesses can play an important role in combating social exclusion and poverty across Europe. I am glad that, with today's agreement, Polish microbusinesses will find it easier to access the finance they need to survive and thrive.”
Commenting on the transaction, EIF Chief Executive, Pier Luigi Gilibert, said: “We have signed the first EaSI transaction under EFSI earlier this month, and I am very proud that, already today, a second transaction can be concluded. I am confident that EIF will soon be reaching out to micro-borrowers in all EU Member States through the EaSI guarantee scheme. Thanks to today’s agreement with Nest Bank, the Investment Plan will help many Polish micro-borrowers in accessing the financing they need to grow.”
“Nest Bank was created for people, for whom the family comes first”, says Marek Kulczycki, Nest Bank’s CEO. “We create the financial products which will help to safely spread the wings of both individual customers and entrepreneurs. We rely on years of experience in the sector of services for microentrepreneurs and professionals. We appreciate the cooperation with the European Investment Fund. In the past years, we had the opportunity to collaborate under the previous financial instrument named Progress.”
Micro-enterprises wishing to apply for a loan under EFSI can do so by contacting directly one of the 52 branches that represent Nest Bank across Poland.
The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank Group. Its central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment. More information on EIF's work under EFSI is available here.
About the Investment Plan for Europe
The Investment Plan focuses on strengthening European investments to create jobs and growth. It does so by making smarter use of new and existing financial resources, removing obstacles to investment, providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects. The Investment Plan is already showing results. The projects and agreements approved for financing under EFSI so far are expected to mobilise over EUR 168 billion in total investments across 28 Member States and to support more than 387 000 SMEs. On 14 September 2016, the European Commission proposed extending EFSI by increasing its firepower and duration as well as reinforcing its strengths. Find the latest EFSI figures by sector and by country here. For more info, see the FAQs.
The European Commission’s Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI) aims at supporting EU's objective of high level employment, adequate social protection, fighting against social exclusion and poverty and improving working conditions. The EaSI guarantee scheme was launched in June 2015 by the European Commission and managed by EIF.
It provides support to financial intermediaries that offer microloans to entrepreneurs or finance to social enterprises. The objective is to increase access to microfinance for vulnerable groups who want to set up or develop their business and micro-enterprises, notably through loans of up to EUR 25 000. In addition, for the first time, the European Commission is helping social enterprises through investments of up to EUR 500 000. The microfinance and social entrepreneurship support is currently being implemented through the EaSI guarantee scheme, which enables financial intermediaries to reach out to micro-entrepreneurs and social enterprises that would not have been able to gain finance otherwise due to risk considerations.
EIF: David Yormesor
Tel.: + 352 24 85 81 346, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
European Commission: Enda McNamara
Tel.: + 32 (0)2 29 64 976, E-Mail: email@example.com