Investment Plan for Europe: EIB Group supports micro-financing in the Netherlands with Qredits

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08/01/2016
The European Investment Bank Group (EIB and EIF) will support Dutch micro-finance institution Qredits in giving very small businesses in the Netherlands access to finance. The European Investment Bank has agreed a EUR 100 million loan facility with Qredits, while the European Investment Fund has also signed an agreement with Qredits to cover part of the credit risk of new loans worth EUR 25 million for microbusinesses and SMEs. Both operations are backed by the guarantee of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Juncker Commission’s Investment Plan for Europe.

“We are delighted and extremely proud of the fact that Qredits, as the first microfinance institution in Europe, has the opportunity to directly take out a loan from the EIB. This large credit facility together with the COSME guarantee enable us to realize our ambitions for the coming years and help strengthen our position as major alternative financier for entrepreneurs in the Netherlands.” said Elwin Groenevelt, CEO of Qredits Microfinanciering Nederland.

Since any loan from the EIB can cover only up to 50% of the total investment in any project, this operation will make available at least EUR 200 million in microfinance loans for Dutch entrepreneurs. It is estimated that at least 7500 small entrepreneurs in the Netherlands will be able to benefit through the new loan facility. The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs was instrumental in guaranteeing 80% of the EUR 100 million loan by the EIB, with the other 20% guaranteed under EFSI.

European Commissioner Marianne Thyssen added: "Boosting investment - especially in start-ups and SMEs - is a key pre-condition to boost economic growth and create jobs. With EFSI, the €315billion Investment Plan for Europe, and our Better Regulation Agenda we are not only supporting the backbone of our economy but we are also sending out a message that Europe is a good place to invest in. With Qredits we want to support all those entrepreneurs who dare to challenge the status quo and provide them the best conditions for establishing or developing their business and recruit new employees.”

At the same time, the EUR 25 million guarantee from the EIF will cover 50% of the credit risk taken by Qredits allowing the institution to substantially increase its lending volume in the small client segment with limited access to finance. The loans will be provided as a result of a guarantee from EIF under the COSME programme with financial backing from the European Commission. The agreement will make it possible for Qredits to support additional financing at favourable conditions to around 670 micro enterprises.

EIB Vice-President Pim van Ballekom commented: “The Netherlands has one of the highest refusal rates of Europe when it comes to loan requests by small businesses, a situation that must be addressed. I think Qredits is doing an amazing job, supporting Dutch entrepreneurial spirit by serving those who would otherwise not see their projects realised, and deserves our full support. Together with the EIF guarantee, this operation shows how important the Investment Plan for Europe can be, on every level.”

Since its creation in 2009, Qredits has helped over 7000 entrepreneurs with EUR 130 million. It is estimated that over 10.000 jobs were created through companies assisted by Qredits.

 

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Source: EIB