The European Investment Fund (EIF) and microlux, a microfinance institution, have signed the first agreement to support microbusinesses in Luxembourg under the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI). This agreement was made possible by the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). The EFSI is the central pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe, the so-called "Juncker Plan".
Thanks to the financial backing of the European Commission, EIF is providing a guarantee that will enable microlux to provide EUR 5 million in loans to around 400 microbusinesses in Luxembourg over the next three years.
microlux, the first non-bank microfinance institution in Luxembourg, provides small loans to borrowers who often experience difficulties accessing finance, including vulnerable communities such as refugees and other financially-excluded individuals.
An official launch event is taking place in Luxembourg today under the patronage of the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg.
Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, said: "This Commission is focused on being big on big things and small on small things. microlux, on the other hand, plays the valuable role of being big on small loans. I am delighted and proud that our plan is channelling investment to people who would have otherwise been denied access to the finance they need to make their microbusinesses a real success. ”
Speaking at the high-level signature event in Luxembourg, EIF Deputy Chief Executive, Roger Havenith, said: “Micro-borrowers will now have access to this EUR 5 million facility which will be a valuable lifeline when starting a microbusiness. We are delighted to be signing the first EaSI transaction under EFSI in Luxembourg and very proud to support the Luxembourgish microfinance market via this new microcredit provider.”
Remy Jacob, microlux President said: “In Luxembourg, as is the case across Europe, people put their hope into new entrepreneurial ventures which they cannot carry out due to a lack of access to traditional sources of finance. microlux is here to help these people by providing both advice and microfinance to allow them to launch or develop their activities.”
Micro-enterprises wishing to apply for a loan under EFSI can do so by contacting microlux directly.
The Investment Plan is already expected to mobilise around EUR 250 million worth of investments in Luxembourg and a total of around EUR 178 billion across Europe as a whole.
Microlux is the first microfinance institution in Luxembourg and a joint venture of BGL BNP Paribas, ADA (Association for Development Support), ADIE (French Association for the Right to Economic Initiative) and the EIF (European Investment Fund). Microlux supports and enables the formation and development of businesses by individual clients or social startups lacking access to “traditional” bank credits. To best meet the needs of its clients, microlux offers an extensive range of services with the ultimate goal to promote the right to economic initiative and financial inclusion. Besides coaching, supervision and training through a team of trained volunteers, microlux also provides three types of microcredits up to EUR 25,000.
Microlux has begun operations in June 2016 under the legal structure of a Société anonyme. The company is authorized by the Luxembourg financial regulator, the CSSF and the Ministry of the Economy. The institution is headquartered at the House of Microfinance, at 39 Rue Glesener in Luxembourg City.
EIF: David Yormesor
Tel.: + 352 24 85 81 346
European Commission: Enda McNamara
Tel.: + 32 (0)2 29 64 976
microlux: Samuel Paulus / Jérémy del Rosario
Tel.: +352 45 68 68 75/76