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Social finance transaction in Spain under EaSI to provide EUR 9m for social-enterprises

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    Date: 25 October 2016

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Colonya Caixa d'Estalvis de Pollença have signed a Social Entrepreneurship guarantee agreement in Spain under the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI).

This new guarantee agreement allows Colonya Caixa d'Estalvis de Pollença to provide a total of EUR 9 million to 150 social entrepreneurs. Social enterprises including agri-business cooperatives, foundations and NGOs providing work integration opportunities for disabled persons, will be able to benefit from loans at a reduced interest rate and reduced collateral requirements under the EU supported programme.

Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, said: "Through this EUR 9 million EU support, we will give the opportunity to about 150 social enterprises in the Balearic Islands to have better access to finance, with lower interest rates and less guarantee requirements. The targeted social enterprises mainly operate in the fields of education and agribusiness, which are key sectors for the development of the region. We are convinced that EaSI support to social enterprises has a strong role to play in our fight against social exclusion, by fostering sustainable employment in particular for the most vulnerable people in the labour market"

EIF Chief Executive, Pier Luigi Gilibert said: This new EaSI guarantee enables Colonya Caixa d'Estalvis de Pollença to provide finance solutions to social enterprises who often struggle to access finance from traditional lenders. Colonya Caixa d'Estalvis de Pollença has a successful track-record in supporting social entrepreneurs and I am convinced that this new agreement will help to strengthen the product offer in this segment.”

Colonya Caixa d'Estalvis de Pollença, President, Mr. Josep Cifre said: "To promote the social economy, is one of the facts that differentiates Colonya compared to other financial institutions; our responsibility as a savings bank is providing financing to associations, foundations, cooperatives, investing both in the economy, both in people.."

The EaSI Guarantee scheme was launched in June 2015 and is funded by the European Commission and managed by the European Investment Fund. Social-enterprises wishing to apply for a loan under EaSI can directly contact Colonya Caixa d'Estalvis de Pollença branches in Spain. 

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

The European Commission's Programme for Employment and Social Innovation ("EaSI") aims at supporting the EU's objective of high level employment, adequate social protection, fighting against social exclusion and poverty and improving working conditions. The microfinance and social entrepreneurship axis of the EaSI programme provides support to financial intermediaries that offer microloans to entrepreneurs or finance to social enterprises. The objective is to increase access to microfinance, which includes microcredit i.e. loans of up to EUR 25,000, in particular for vulnerable persons and micro-enterprises. In addition, for the first time, the European Commission will also support social enterprises through investments 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 (potential) 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.

Furthermore, the Commission is reinforcing the social dimension of the EFSI for both microfinance and social entrepreneurship. Overall, the total amount of support to these areas is expected to increase (from EUR 193 M under the EaSI programme) to about EUR 1 billion, mobilising some EUR 3 billion in additional investment.

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:

Easi Programme        

EU support to social entrepreneurship

About Colonya Caixa d'Estalvis de Pollença

Colonya is a financial institution founded as Savings Bank in 1880. In these 136 years it has remained faithful to the principles of promoting social and real economy.Today it is one of the only two existing savings banks in Spain.

In these years of financial crisis, Colonya has facilitated credit to its customers in the real and social economy. The agreements with the European Investment Fund it will allow it to continue to provide credit to sectors that have difficulties to get access to financing.

www.colonya.com

Press contacts:

EIF: David Yormesor
Tel: +352 42 66 88 346, e-mail: d.yormesor@eif.org

Colonya Caixa d'Estalvis de Pollença
Tel: +34971735670, e-mail: lramis@colonya.es

EU Commission
Christian WIGAND, +32 2 296 22 53, Sara SOUMILLION +32 2 296 7094


 
 

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