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EIF and Qredits sign first Progress microfinance agreement for Dutch businesses

    Date: 11 February 2011

The Chief Executive of the EIF, Mr Richard Pelly, and Managing Director of Qredits, Mr. Elwin Groenevelt, today signed a guarantee agreement and loan deal aimed at supporting micro-enterprises in the Netherlands.

This agreement will allow the Dutch Microfinance Institution Qredits, to loan over EUR 20 million to micro-entrepreneurs in the Netherlands. Qredits hopes to extend support under EUR 25,000 to over 1,000 small businesses in the Netherlands, many of whom are higher risk borrowers and  face difficulties in accessing credit from traditional banking sources.

Through the European Progress Microfinance Facility (EPMF), the EIF provides a guarantee to Qredits, enabling it to lend to micro-entrepreneurs. Qredits also benefits from a loan provided under the European Parliament Preparatory Action initiative, which helps it to set up systems and deploy more resources to manage these additional micro-finance operations.

EIF’s Chief Executive Richard Pelly said “Micro-enterprises in the Netherlands will be the first in the European Union to benefit from the new EUR 200 million European Progress Microfinance Facility. This guarantee plus the loan support will help to give a much needed boost to individuals and small businesses, creating new jobs and opportunities for Dutch micro-entrepreneurs.”

Managing Director of Qredits, Elwin Groenevelt, said “This European support will enable us to increase the volume of microloans that we provide, and to invest in capacity building so Qredits can reach financial sustainability in the coming two years”.

This financing benefits from a guarantee issued under the ‘European Progress Microfinance Facility’ established by the European Union.

About the European Progress Microfinance Facility (EPMF)

EPMF is a microfinance initiative established with EUR 200 million of funding from the European Commission and the European Investment Bank. EPMF aims to increase access to finance for micro-entrepreneurs, including the self-employed. It has a particular focus on, but is not restricted to, groups with limited access to the conventional credit market. Examples include female entrepreneurs, young entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs belonging to a minority group, entrepreneurs with a disability, sole traders etc. Financial products (micro-credit guarantees and funded instruments) are made available through eligible intermediaries participating in the facility. EIF does not provide direct financing to micro-entrepreneurs or individuals.

About the EIF

EIF's central mission is to support Europe's small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance.  EIF designs and develops venture capital and guarantees 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. The EIF total net commitments to private equity funds amounted to over EUR 3.7bn at end 2009. With investments in over 300 funds, the EIF is a leading player in European venture due to the scale and the scope of its investments, especially in high-tech and early-stage segments. The EIF commitment in guarantees totaled over EUR 13.6bn in over 160 operations, positioning it as a major European SME guarantees actor and a leading micro-finance guarantor.

About Qredits

Qredits is a new Dutch MicroFinance provider , which started its operations in January 2009. Qredits is a private foundation, founded by a group of public and private partners. These partners are: three banks, (ABN AMRO bank, ING Nederland and Rabobank ), the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, and a fund for employment and living.

Qredits works nationwide in the Netherlands and provides financing and coaching facilities for micro-entrepreneurs, existing and start-ups. Microcredit is provided up to an amount of 35.000 Euros.The target group is: all micro-entrepreneurs (< 5 employees, turnover under 250.000 Euros) active in the Netherlands with viable business plans, who have no access to regular credit facilities. Since January 2009 the loan portfolio of Qredits has been growing steadily. In the first year 530 micro entrepreneurs where successfully financed.  By December 2010 this number has increased to 1141, with an outstanding portfolio of over 18 million Euros.

Press contacts:

EIF: David Yormesor, d.yormesor@eif.org

Qredits: Georgina Friederichs g.friederichs@Qredits.nl or visit Qredits website www.qredits.nl


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