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Over EUR 5m for micro-enterprises in Spain as EIF and Foundation Pinnae sign agreement under Progress Microfinance

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    Date: 25 February 2014

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Foundation Pinnae today signed a guarantee agreement aimed at supporting over 350 micro-enterprises in Spain.

This agreement will allow Foundation Pinnae to provide enhanced access to finance to micro-entrepreneurs, in particular to young entrepreneurs in Spain, many of whom face difficulties in accessing credit from traditional banking sources.

Progress Microfinance is funded by the European Commission and managed by the European Investment Fund.

Commenting on the transaction, Head of the Microfinance team, Per-Erik Eriksson said: “We are pleased to be signing this guarantee agreement in Spain under Progress Microfinance with Foundation Pinnae.

Given the mentoring and coaching provided to micro-borrowers by Pinnae Foundation and social partners, I am convinced that this finance will help to benefit micro-enterprises and contribute to the economic growth and social inclusion in Spain”.

The transaction will allow Foundation Pinnae, to continue further developing its current lending activity to small and micro-enterprises in Spain.

The President of the Pinnae Foundation, Mr. Martí Solé Bordes, stated: "We are very pleased to have the support of an organization of proven relevance such as the European Investment Fund (EIF), to actively promote the economic revitalization of our territory by development of self-employment of young, small-scale entrepreneurs and people at risk of social exclusion, in order to fight against vulnerability and combat unemployment".

Micro-enterprises wishing to apply for a micro-loan under Progress Microfinance can directly contact Foundation Pinnae’s branches in Spain.                             

About the European Progress Microfinance Facility

The European Progress Microfinance Facility (Progress Microfinance) provides guarantees and funded instruments to microfinance intermediaries. The initiative is established with EUR 205 million of funding from the European Commission and the European Investment Bank. 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.

Foundation Pinnae marks the 49th transaction signed under Progress Microfinance since its inception in 2010. To date, commitments of over EUR 130 million under Progress Microfinance have been signed to benefit EU micro-borrowers. Countries where agreements have been signed to date include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, The Netherlands and the UK.

For further information about this initiative please visit: www.ec.europa.eu/epmf

About EIF

The European Investment Fund's (EIF) 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. EIF’s total net commitments to private equity funds amounted to over EUR 7.9bn at end 2013. With investments in over 435 funds, 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. EIF’s guarantees loan portfolio totalled over EUR 5.6bn in over 300 operations at end 2013, positioning it as a major European SME guarantees actor and a leading micro-finance guarantor.

About Foundation Pinnae:

Foundation Pinnae was created in Vilafranca del Penedès, in July 2013, with the aim of responding to new social demands trough networing with all the actors of the civil society.

Pinnae is dedicated mainly to the economic revitalization and job integration, through self-employment and promoting social and economic entrepreneurship on a small scale, especially with the most disadvantaged groups. Pinnae is also engaged in the areas of social assistance and the promotion of culture under an autonomous business management perspective, rooted in the territory and sustainable over time.   

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