MIL OSI – Source: European Union –
Headline: Micro-enterprises to benefit from first EaSI microfinance deal in Estonia
Micro-enterprises to benefit from first EaSI microfinance deal in Estonia
The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Estonian financial group AS LHV Pank (LHV) have signed a guarantee agreement aimed at supporting micro-enterprises in Estonia under the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI).
This new EaSI guarantee agreement with LHV will cover a loan portfolio of EUR 12 million for over 700 micro-borrowers including young entrepreneurs establishing start-up businesses, ethnic minorities, and micro entrepreneurs with limited access to credit. The new loan product ‘LHV Micro loan’ will be launched in May. The loan application process will be web-based, automatic and made as user-friendly for clients as possible. The EaSI Guarantee scheme was launched in June 2015 and is funded by the European Commission and managed by the European Investment Fund.
Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, said: “With the help of EU funding, LHV is opening a completely new credit line for the microfinance segment. More than 700 micro entrepreneurs in Estonia, including young entrepreneurs and ethnic minorities, will be able to benefit from loans on preferential conditions. This shows again that the European Commission is fully committed to boosting employment in Europe and getting more people into jobs, with particular efforts directed towards the most vulnerable people on the labour market.”
EIF Chief Executive, Pier Luigi Gilibert said: “I am pleased that we are signing our first microfinance agreement in Estonia with LHV Pank. With LHVs rapid online loan application process I am sure that this EaSI guarantee will help to support disadvantaged micro-entrepreneurs very soon. This is a first EaSI agreement in Estonia and we expect to sign more transactions in other countries the coming months.”
Erki Kilu, CEO of LHV Pank said: “We are proud to introduce to the Estonian market a loan product intended precisely for micro enterprises. This new micro loan broadens possibilities for Estonian entrepreneurs and businesses, who might otherwise find it difficult to get a loan with suitable terms. We are happy to provide a micro loan with sensible financial requirements – no need for collateral or self-financing – and that can be processed quickly automatically using our e-channels.”
Micro-enterprises wishing to apply for a micro-loan under EaSI in Estonia can find information directly on LHV Bank website www.lhv.ee and sign up for updates of the launch of the new loan product.
EIF will not provide direct financial support to enterprises but will implement the facility through local financial intermediaries, such as microfinance, social finance and guarantee institutions, as well as banks active across the EU-28 and additional countries that are participating in the EaSI programme. These intermediaries will deal with interested parties directly to provide support under the EaSI Guarantee.
About the Programme for Employment and Social Innovation
Under the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI), the European Commission supports microfinance and social entrepreneurship finance with an overall envelope of EUR 193 million for the period 2014-2020. The aim is to increase access to microfinance for vulnerable groups who want to set up or develop their business and micro-enterprises, through notably loans of up to EUR 25,000. In addition, for the first time, the European Commission is helping social enterprises through loans of up to EUR 500,000. The microfinance and social entrepreneurship support is currently being implemented through the EaSI Guarantee, which enables financial intermediaries to reach out to micro-entrepreneurs that would not have been able to gain finance otherwise due to risk considerations. The European Commission has selected EIF to implement the EaSI Guarantee.
About the European Investment Fund
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 businesses (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.
For further information on EU microfinance and social entrepreneurship support please refer to:
EU support to social entrepreneurship
LHV Group is the largest domestic financial group and capital provider in Estonia. LHV Group’s key subsidiaries are AS LHV Pank and AS LHV Varahaldus. LHV Pank provides services mainly for private individuals and SME companies. Over 89 000 customers.use LHV’s banking services.
EIF: David Yormesor, tel: +352 42 66 88 346, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
LHV : Priit Rum, tel: +372 680 2633, e-mail: email@example.com
EU Commission: Christian WIGAND +32 2 296 22 53, +32 2 298 67 64