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EUR 21m for micro-enterprises in Romania as EIF and Banca Transilvania sign agreement under Progress Microfinance

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    Date: 07 November 2013
The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Banca Transilvania today signed a guarantee loan agreement aimed at supporting over 2,000 micro-enterprises in Romania.

This agreement will allow Banca Transilvania to provide enhanced access to finance to micro-entrepreneurs, in particular to young entrepreneurs in Romania, many of whom face difficulties in accessing credit from traditional banking sources.

Progress Microfinance is funded by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank and managed by the European Investment Fund.

Commenting on the transaction, Head of the Microfinance team, Per-Erik Eriksson said: “We are pleased to be signing this guarantee agreement in Romania under Progress Microfinance with Banca Transilvania. I am convinced that this finance will help to benefit micro-enterprises and contribute to the economic growth and social inclusion in Romania”.

The transaction will allow Banca Transilvania, to continue further develop its current lending activity to small and micro-enterprises in Romania following the loan agreement signed in 2012.

Banca Transilvania Chairman, Horia Ciorcila, said: “Banca Transilvania’s enrollment with this guarantee program is part of its strategy for the development of additional tools designed to support local SMEs.  We have always been an active player in this field, precisely because supporting the entrepreneurs is one of the main prerequisites for the revival of the Romanian economy”.

Micro-enterprises wishing to apply for a micro-loan under Progress Microfinance can directly contact Banca Transilvania’s branches in Romania.                               

About the European Progress Microfinance Facility

The European Progress Microfinance Facility (Progress Microfinance) provides guarantees and funded instruments to microfinance intermediaries. The initiative is established with EUR 203 million of funding from the European Commission and the European Investment Bank. The European Investment Fund (EIF) acts as Management Company on behalf of the EU Microfinance Platform FCP-FIS - European Progress Microfinance Fund, the main vehicle through which Progress Microfinance is implemented. Progress Microfinance 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. Loans less than EUR 25,000 are made available through selected intermediaries participating in the facility. Progress Microfinance does not provide direct financing to micro-entrepreneurs or individuals.

Banca Transilvania marks the 35th transaction signed under Progress Microfinance since its inception in 2010. To date, commitments of over EUR 110 million under Progress Microfinance have been signed to benefit EU micro-borrowers. Countries where agreements have been signed to date include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, the Netherlands and the UK.

For further information about this initiative please visit: www.ec.europa.eu/epmf

About 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 6.5bn at end 2012. With investments in over 430 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 guarantees loan portfolio totalled over EUR 4.7bn in 255 operations at end 2012, positioning it as a major European SME guarantees actor and a leading micro-finance guarantor.

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