What is the European Progress Microfinance Facility?

The European Progress Microfinance Facility is a microfinance initiative for which EUR 205 million of funding has been made availalbe from the European Commission and the European Investment Bank. Progress Microfinance, an initiative targeting all EU Member States, aims at increasing access to finance for individuals who have lost or are at risk of losing their job or have difficulties entering or re-entering the labour market. It also targets disadvantaged individuals, including people at risk of social exclusion. In addition to individuals, Progress Microfinance also supports micro-enterprises, including those in the social economy providing jobs for the unemployed or the disadvantaged.

How does Progress Microfinance work?

EIF does not provide direct financing to micro-entrepreneurs, micro-businesses or individuals. As a (future) entrepreneur or an enterprise with fewer than 10 employees looking for a micro-credit (maximum loan amount below EUR 25,000), you should contact the participating financial intermediary selected by the EIF in your country/region. The financial intermediary will provide information on specific application requirements and procedures in each local market. Over the lifetime of the facility, Progress Microfinance will target all EU-27 Member States.

How it works?

What intermediaries are eligible?

Eligible intermediaries are any public and private institutions that provide microfinance loans and/or guarantees to individuals or micro-enterprises established in the EU Member States. Eligible intermediaries include financial institutions, microfinance institutions, guarantee institutions, or any other entity authorised to provide microfinance instruments in the EU Member States such as development institutions.

What products are available to eligible intermediaries ?

Progress Microfinance offers two product lines to eligible intermediaries to enhance their capacity to provide micro-credits and guarantees on micro-credits:

What are the benefits of becoming an intermediary under Progress Microfinance?

Depending on the nature and strategy of each institution, there are various benefits of becoming an intermediary under Progress Microfinance:
  • Increase loan volumes and possibility to gain new customers
  • Attract new investors from the private sector and reinforce shareholding structure in order to reach sustainability
  • Develop pilots and build economies of scale
  • Adopt sustainable measures to promote employment

How can an interested institution become an intermediary?

  • Eligible intermediaries interested in applying for Progress Microfinance micro-credit guarantees, should refer to the procedure outlined in the how to apply paragraph at the bottom of the page.
  • Eligible intermediaries interested in applying for Progress Microfinance funded instruments, should contact our microfinance investment team directly. 

How does EIF select intermediaries?

Intermediaries will be selected after a detailed due diligence based on established selection criteria including financial standing, financing capacity, operational capabilities, and expected impact (e.g. volumes and geographical reach). After EIF approval, contractual arrangements will be set up with the selected intermediaries.

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