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EUR 4.5 million for micro-enterprises in Calabria as EIF and BCC Medioocrati sign first agreement under Progress Microfinance in Italy

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    Date: 20 July 2012

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Italian version [pdf]

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Banca di Credito Cooperativo Mediocrati (“BCCM”) (a small cooperative bank forming part of the nationwide ICCREA network of cooperative banks) have signed the first a loan agreement aimed at supporting micro-enterprises and self-employed entrepreneurs in the Calabria Region.

BCCM, already active in the microfinance sector, is the first Italian banking institution to benefit from this facility. This agreement also marks the 20th transaction across the EU signed under the European Progress Microfinance Facility (Progress Microfinance), funded by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank and managed by the EIF.

Through Progress Microfinance, approximately 220 local micro-entrepreneurs that do not have access to the conventional banking system will benefit from the initiative. In particular, BCCM will provide up to EUR 4.5 million of micro-loans to disadvantaged groups such as ethnic minorities, female and young self-employed entrepreneurs, thus contributing to employment creation and conservation, entrepreneurship and local development in Southern Italy.

In particular, BCCM will provide up to EUR 4.5 million of micro-loans to disadvantaged groups such as ethnic minorities, female and young self-employed entrepreneurs, thus contributing to employment creation and conservation, entrepreneurship and local development in Southern Italy.

Micro-enterprises wishing to apply for a micro-loan under Progress Microfinance should contact BCC Mediocrati branches  directly.

About the European Progress Microfinance Facility

The European Progress Microfinance Facility (Progress Microfinance) provides guarantees and funded instruments to microfinance intermediaries. The initiative was established with EUR 203 million of funding from the European Commission and the European Investment Bank. The European Investment Fund (EIF) acts as Management Company on behalf of the EU Microfinance Platform FCP-FIS - European Progress Microfinance Fund, the main vehicle through which Progress Microfinance is implemented. Progress Microfinance aims to increase access to finance for micro-entrepreneurs, including the self-employed. It has a particular focus on, but is not restricted to, groups with limited access to the conventional credit market. Examples include female entrepreneurs, young entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs belonging to a minority group, entrepreneurs with a disability, sole traders etc. Loans less than EUR 25,000 are made available through selected intermediaries participating in the facility. Progress Microfinance does not provide direct financing to micro-entrepreneurs or individuals.

Banca di Credito Cooperativo Mediocrati (BCCM) marks the 20th transaction signed under Progress Microfinance since its inception in 2010. To date, commitments of EUR 77.5 million under Progress Microfinance have been signed to benefit EU micro-borrowers. Countries where agreements have been signed to date include Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Greece, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain and The Netherlands.

For further information about this initiative, please visit the European Commission website: www.ec.europa.eu/epmf

About the EIF

EIF's central mission is to support Europe's small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance.  EIF designs and develops venture capital and guarantees 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. The EIF total net commitments to private equity funds amounted to over EUR 6bn at end 2011. With investments in over 370 funds, the EIF is a leading player in European venture due to the scale and the scope of its investments, especially in high-tech and early-stage segments. The EIF guaranteed loan portfolio totalled over EUR 4.4bn in close to 220 operations at end 2011, positioning it as a major European SME guarantees actor and a leading micro-finance guarantor. 

About Banca di Credito Cooperativo Mediocrati (BCCM)

BCC Mediocrati is a cooperative bank mainly based on mutuality, created in 1999 by merging three existing banks (BCC branches of Bisignano, Luzzi and Rota Greca), the oldest of which was founded in Bisignano (Cs) on 26 June 1906.

After more than a century, BCC Mediocrati is now a modern banking institution, which covers much of the broad province of Cosenza. Headquarters are located in Rende, in a modern business centre, opened in June 2007.  BCC Mediocrati has sixteen branches: Acre, Bisignano, Castrovillari, Cosenza, Frascineto, Lattarico, Lauropoli, Luzzi, Myrtle, Montalto Uffugo, Rende, Rende2, Rose, Rota Greca and Albanian Spezzano, plus the local office based in San Giovanni in Fiore.

The Bank is also analyzing local economy phenomena, sharing the results locally on a yearly basis. In 2008, BCC Mediocrati, among the first banking institutions in Italy and the only one in Calabria, has approved the elimination of overdraft charges for businesses.

Since 1999, members have more than tripled, from 1325 to 4300, while employees increased from 38 to 124, thanks to the recruitment of many young talented people and following the acquisition of a BCC in liquidation.

The Bank’s main mission is supporting the young generation and the local development. BCC Mediocrati is also very active in the field of microfinance, having a dedicated financial tool for the foreign nationals based in Calabria (“Migrantes”) and two micro-credit facilities for young people (Voglio Restare e “Il Seminatore”).

At 31 December 2011, customer loans and direct deposits amounted around EUR 1 bn. The capital has increased from EUR 17,234,000 bn in 1999 to the current EUR 64,693,072.74 bn. Net income amounted to EUR 2,020,050.63 bn.

For further information, please visit BCCM website http://www.mediocrati.it/

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