InvestEU: EIF and microStart unlock €30 million for Belgian microenterprises

    Date: 28 April 2023
  • The guarantee agreement between the European Investment Fund (EIF) and microStart will unlock at least €30 million of financing for microenterprises in Belgium.
  • The deal, backed by the European Union’s InvestEU programme, is expected to benefit more than 3 000 Belgian microenterprises, making available financing under better conditions.
  • The agreement is expected to improve access to finance for small companies by enabling microStart   to offer better financial conditions.

The European Investment Fund has agreed to provide a guarantee to leading Belgian microfinance institution microStart, which will unlock at least €30 million of financing for Belgian microenterprises. The transaction, backed by the European Union’s InvestEU programme, will ensure that microStart can offer better financial terms on their loans, thus improving access to finance for Belgium’s smallest entrepreneurs.

The specialist microfinance lender expects to serve over 3 000 clients under this transaction, thus supporting entrepreneurship in challenging times for the European Union’s economy. microStart is the leading microfinance provider in Belgium, serving hundreds of small companies each year, and has been supported by the EIF since its inception in 2010.

EU Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit said: “This financial agreement under InvestEU could be a game-changer for thousands of small businesses in Belgium. More than 3 000 Belgian microenterprises stand to benefit from new access to financing, which will help create new jobs in the community.”

microStart CEO Guido Busseniers commented: ““Belgium is a country of family businesses and as a social impact organisation, microStart helps the weakest entrepreneurs to set up their business. The EIF guarantee is an important component of our business model next to the coaching capabilities of our experienced volunteers. Since we launched, we have helped over 9 000 entrepreneurs and provided more than 5 000 loans. This would not be possible without the EIF guarantee. With this new facility, we will continue to serve even more entrepreneurs and create more jobs in Belgium.”

EIF Chief Executive Marjut Falkstedt added: “Our relationship with microStart goes back a long way, and we are glad to continue our partnership, supporting Belgian microentrepreneurs in getting improved access to finance. Too often, very small companies have a hard time finding the right type of financing, and part of the EIF’s mission is to address that. We’re happy to have a stable partner in microStart to support this key segment of the economy.”

Background information

The European Investment Fund is part of the European Investment Bank Group. Its main goal is to support microenterprises and small businesses by helping them to access finance. The EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments that specifically target this market segment. In this role, the EIF contributes to the pursuit of key EU policy objectives such as competitiveness and growth, innovation and digitalisation, social impact, skills and human capital, climate action and environmental sustainability.

The InvestEU programme provides the European Union with crucial long-term funding by leveraging substantial private and public funds in support of sustainable recovery. It also helps mobilise private investment for EU policy priorities, such as the European Green Deal and the digital transition. InvestEU brings together under one roof a multitude of EU financial instruments previously available to support investment in the European Union, making funding for investment projects in Europe simpler, more efficient and more flexible. The programme consists of three components: the InvestEU Fund, the InvestEU Advisory Hub and the InvestEU Portal. The InvestEU Fund is deployed through implementing partners that will invest in projects using the EU budget guarantee of €26.2 billion. The entire budget guarantee will back the investment projects of the implementing partners, increase their risk-bearing capacity and thus mobilise at least €372 billion in additional investment.

microStart SC-ES is a non-bank microfinance institution in Belgium founded in September 2010 by ADIE and BNP Paribas Fortis (BNPPF). microStart SC-ES also operates through an association, microStart Support ASBL ("microStart Support"), which offers business development services to final recipients. microStart provides microcredits whilst microStart Support grants business development services such as training and mentoring to final recipients.

Press contacts

EIF: Tim Smit, +352 691 28 64 23,

microStart : Sandra Fernandez, +32 484165283, sandra.fernandez@microStart .be

European Commission: Flora Matthaes, tel.: +32 229 83951,
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