What we do
Public consultation on the EIB Group's Environmental and Social Sustainability Framework - informational webinars
Public consultation on the EIB Group's Environmental and Social Sustainability Framework
The EIF in 2020
Coronavirus: The EIB Group’s initiatives to address its economic consequences
Pan-European Guarantee Fund – EGF
Sustainable Development Umbrella Fund
SDUF Health Compartment
Equity products
AI Co-Investment Facility
Climate & Infrastructure Funds
Technology Transfer
European Angels Fund (EAF) - Co-investments with Business Angels
Venture capital
The Social Impact Accelerator (SIA)
Lower mid-market
Mezzanine Facility for Growth
EFSI Equity instrument
Single EU Equity Financial Instrument
COSME - Equity Facility for Growth
InnovFin Equity
Private equity secondary market transactions
EIF-NPI Equity Platform
ESCALAR Programme
Debt products
New ESIF ERDF Guarantee Fund initiative in Greece
EFSI Private Credit Programme
AGRI Guarantee Facility
AGRI Italy Platform Uncapped Guarantee Instrument
Credit enhancement
Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility (CCS GF)
ENSI - Securitisation Initiative
Erasmus+ Master Loan Guarantee Facility
Skills & Education Guarantee Pilot
EREM debt products
Single EU Debt Financial Instrument
InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility
COSME - Loan Guarantee Facility
Documentary Finance Facility – Bulgaria
The SME Initiative
The SME Initiative Bulgaria
The SME Initiative Finland
The SME Initiative Italy
The SME Initiative Malta
The SME Initiative Romania
The SME Initiative Spain
Inclusive finance
EaSI Financial Instruments
EaSI Capacity Building Investments Window
EaSI Guarantee Instrument
EaSI Funded Instrument
European Progress Microfinance Facility
Entrepreneurs supported through Progress Microfinance
European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI)
How does EIF contribute to EFSI
How to apply for EFSI financing
Regional Development - Country and sector-specific initiatives
Dutch Future Fund (DFF)
Dutch Alternative Credit Instrument (DACI)
PORTUGAL BLUE: a new initiative for blue economy investments
JEREMIE Greece Reflows – Business Angels’ Co-Investment Equity Instrument
German Corona Matching Facility (CMF)
Portugal Growth programme
Croatian Growth Investment Programme (CROGIP)
Central and Eastern European Technology Transfer (CEETT)
AGRI Italy Platform Uncapped Guarantee Instrument
ALTER’NA – ESIF EARFD Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Baltic Innovation Fund 1 (BIF 1)
Baltic Innovation Fund 2 (BIF 2)
Central Europe Fund of Funds (CEFoF)
Croatian Venture Capital Initiative (CVCi FoF)
Competitiveness Fund-of-Funds for SMEs in Romania
Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area Initiative East Guarantee Facility (DCFTA)
Dutch Growth Co-Investment Programme
Dutch Venture Initiative (DVI-II)
ESIF Fund-of-Funds Greece
EAFRD FoF Portugal
EAFRD FoF Romania
The ERP-EIF Facility
ERP-EIF Co-Investment Growth Facility
The LfA-EIF Facilities
The German Future Fund (GFF) - EIF Growth Facility
INAF – French National Agricultural Initiative
ESIF Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Malta
Regional Fund-of-Funds Romania
ESIF Fund-of-Funds Czech Republic
The Silesia EIF Fund of Funds
La Financière Région Réunion
The EIB Group Risk Enhancement Mandate (EREM)
Greater Anatolia Guarantee Facility (GAGF)
G43 - Anatolian Venture Capital Fund Project
InvestBG Equity Instrument
JEREMIE Romania Reflows – Equity Instrument
Luxembourg Future Fund (LFF)
Mezzanine 'Fund of Fund' for Germany (MDD)
Polish Growth Fund of Funds (PGFF)
Portugal Venture Capital Initiative (PVCi)
Scottish-European Growth Co-Investment Programme
Slovene Equity Growth Investment Programme (SEGIP)
Swedish Venture Initiative (SVI)
Turkish Growth and Innovation Fund (TGIF)
Western Balkans Enterprise Development & Innovation Facility (WB EDIF)
EAFRD FoF Greece

Europe supports Swedish micro-entrepreneurs through Ponture AB

    Date: 16 August 2021
  • Ponture, a Swedish loan market place and lender, gets a European Investment Fund guarantee for a portfolio of up to SEK 145 million of small loans to Swedish micro-companies.
  • With this EU-backing Ponture can help around 1.000 small companies in Sweden, focusing on businesses founded by women, young starters and people from migratory backgrounds.
  • The guarantee from the European Investment Fund is backed under the EU programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI).

Today, 96% of companies in Sweden consist of sole proprietorships or small businesses, which are also the most overlooked businesses in the capital and loan market. Now, Swedish loan market place and financial institution Ponture AB has signed a guarantee agreement with the European Investment Fund (EIF). The deal, with backing from the EU’s programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI), will allow Ponture to provide up to SEK 145 million in new lending to about 1.000 underserved Swedish SMEs.

Under the agreement, the EaSI guarantee financial instrument covers up to 90% of Ponture's lending, whose microloans are expected to have a positive effect on society. The guarantee, which also enables Ponture to offer favorable loan terms, is aimed at providing microloans to three groups: women, young entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs with a migratory background. The loans range from SEK 10,000–250,000. The deal benefits from a guarantee funded by the European Union under the Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI).

Small entrepreneurs are not prioritized today in the Swedish capital and loan market. They rarely get access to loans from established banks, even though the financial foundations show that they should be able to get credit”, says Hamed Ordibehesht, CEO and founder of Ponture. “We are for Europe, what Grameen Bank was for Bangladesh. Just because we live in a high-income country, it does not mean that there are no need for microloans. It can be for the local pizza baker who wants to hire an employee or the carpenter in Norrtälje who needs to buy materials before the first customer invoice pays his.

Paolo Gentiloni, Commissioner for Economy said: “This European Investment Fund guarantee for Ponture will help around a thousand small businesses in Sweden to grow their activities. Today’s entrepreneurs are tomorrow’s job creators and they are key to Europe’s recovery and future prosperity. I particularly welcome the fact that this support is concentrated on businesses founded by women, young people and citizens with migrant backgrounds.”

The decision to support Ponture, financial considerations aside, is also based on the strong social impact the platform has on society,” said EIF Chief Executive Alain Godard. “The central mission of the EIF is to support SMEs around Europe with all the means we have at our disposal, but there is also a social dimension to that. Ponture is one of the first private financial intermediaries in Sweden to focus on providing financing to businesses founded by people with a migratory background, as well as on female entrepreneurs and young starters. This makes this financing all the more important from a social cohesion point of view.”

Ponture is a young company but has already managed to attract a number of people with a decades of experience from the financial sector. Chairman of the Board is Carl-Viggo Östlund, who has previously been CEO of both the mortgage institution SBAB and Nordnet Bank AB.

“This market segment has great potential and could sustain a healthy business. The next step for us is to expand our borrowing capacity further to be able to help more entrepreneurs,” says Carl-Viggo Östlund, Chairman of the Board and founder of Ponture AB.

“Weknow that for every person who goes from governmental support to work, we get a positive societal effect of approximately SEK 350,000 per year. We will monitor the impact of our loan by measuring how the loan has affected the company's sales and number of employees,” adds Hamed Ordibehesht.

Background Information:

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.

Ponture is a fintech impact company that develops and offers financial services to small companies. Ponture has been appointed an impact company by the Norrsken Foundation and has been selected to participate in Mastercard's Lighthouse program. Ponture was founded by Hamed Ordibehesht and Rodrigo Garay. Hamed has previously worked at Ericsson AB as Head of Solution Development. Rodrigo has founded the rating organization Accountability International, the recruitment company Diversitas and runs the think tank Working for Change. Ponture is registered with the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority.

The European Union 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 and micro-enterprises 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 EU is supporting social enterprises through the provision of guarantees to financial intermediaries for granting loans of up to EUR 500,000. The microfinance and social entrepreneurship support is currently being implemented through the EaSI Guarantee financial instrument, which enables financial intermediaries to reach out to (potential) entrepreneurs that would not have been able to access  financing otherwise due to risk considerations. It is also being implemented through the EaSI Capacity Building financial instrument, aiming to reinforce the capacity of financial intermediaries in the areas of microfinance and social finance through equity investments; and the EaSI Funded Instrument, which provides senior and subordinated loans to microfinance institutions and social enterprise lenders to boost on-lending to micro-enterprises and social enterprises. The European Commission has selected the EIF to implement the EaSI financial instruments.

Press contacts:

EIB Group:Tim Smit, Tel: +352 691 28 64 23, t.smit@eib.org, Follow us on Twitter@eif_eu
Website: www.eif.org - Press Office: +352 4379 21000 – press@eib.org

Ponture AB: Hamed Ordibehesht, CEO and founder, +46 (0) 73-938 54 20, hamed@ponture.com

European Commission: Flora Matthaes, +32 460 755148, flora.matthaes@ec.europa.eu


We use cookies to give the best browser experience on our website. or change cookie settings.

Note: Following the recent withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, we are updating the relevant EIF.org pages.


Copyright ©

 European Investment Fund 2021 – The European Investment Fund is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.