European Commission has launched new Covid-19 measures supporting micro- and social enterprises under the EUR 400m EaSI Guarantee instrument.
The new measures will support micro- and social enterprises as well as individual micro-borrowers hit by the socio-economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, but the money will not go directly from the EIF.
Through the EaSI Guarantee Instrument, the European Investment Fund (EIF) offers guarantees and counter-guarantees to financial intermediaries, thereby providing them with a partial credit risk protection for newly originated loans to eligible beneficiaries.
To date, the guarantees provided by EIF to financial intermediaries operating in the micro and social finance space have unlocked EUR 1.4 billion of debt financing, allowing more than 85,000 micro and social enterprises across Europe to access financing.
European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, said: “Micro-enterprises and social enterprises, which often employ the most vulnerable in society, have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Safeguarding their survival is essential for local economies and communities across the EU. Today’s measures will provide much needed support as part of EU recovery efforts, as we build a more resilient and inclusive Europe.”
Micro-borrower, micro and social enterprises will be able to apply directly to their local banks and lenders participating in the scheme, which will be listed on www.access2finance.eu.
Intermediaries are selected after an application under a call for expression of interest followed by a due diligence process.