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Europe invests EUR 1.6m in social enterprises in the Spanish province of Soria

    Date: 15 September 2016

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Soria Futuro S.A. have signed a Social Entrepreneurship guarantee agreement aimed at supporting social enterprises in the province of Soria in Spain under the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI). 

These agreements enable Soria Futuro to provide a total of EUR 1,6 million to social entrepreneurs, many of whom face difficulties in accessing seed funding from mainstream funding channels. The social entrepreneurship guarantee transaction will support loans to social enterprises registered in the province of Soria in Spain, mainly in the Soria Social Business Incubator – ‘El Hueco’ and ‘Accelerator Impulso1’ respectively.

Social entrepreneurs and micro-borrowers will be able to benefit from loans at a reduced interest rate, without providing collateral under the EU-supported programme.

Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, said: "Thanks to EU funding Soria Futuro will launch a new lending activity worth 1.6 million euro for social enterprises in the province of Soria, facilitating the repopulation of one of the most underpopulated areas of Europe. Once again, the European Commission shows its commitment to foster sustainable employment in the regions most in need in Europe."

EIF Chief Executive, Pier Luigi Gilibert said: “Social enterprises contribute to the economic fabric of our regions and cities and I am pleased that we have signed an agreement which will enhance access to finance for entrepreneurs in Spain. The regional focus of this new guarantee agreement will help to target those social entrepreneurs who are making a difference locally.”

Soria Futuro CEO, Carlos Martínez Izquierdo said: “Today is an important day for our company. We are pleased to sign a European Agreement with EIF that will support social enterprises in the province of Soria. In regions like these, which are economically performing in Spain but with less than 9 inhabitants per km2, we have to create enterprising ecosystems to target viable business models in the social economy.”

Social-enterprises wishing to apply for a micro-loan under EaSI microfinance programme can contact Soria Futuro branches in Soria.

EIF will not provide direct financial support to enterprises but will implement the facility through local financial intermediaries, such as microfinance, social finance and guarantee institutions, as well as banks active across the EU-28 and additional countries that are participating in the EaSI programme. These intermediaries will deal with interested parties directly to provide support under the EaSI Guarantee.

About the Programme for Employment and Social Innovation

The European Commission’s 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 EaSI Guarantee scheme was launched in June 2015 and is funded by the European Commission and managed by the European Investment Fund.

It provides support to financial intermediaries that offer microloans to entrepreneurs or finance to social enterprises. The objective is to increase access to microfinance for vulnerable groups who want to set up or develop their business and micro-enterprises, through notably loans of up to EUR 25 000. In addition, for the first time, the European Commission is helping social enterprises through investments of up to EUR 500 000. The microfinance and social entrepreneurship support is currently being implemented through the EaSI Guarantee, which enables financial intermediaries to reach out to micro-entrepreneurs and social enterprises that would not have been able to gain finance otherwise due to risk considerations. The European Commission has selected EIF to implement the EaSI Guarantee.

About the European Investment Fund

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.

For further information on EU microfinance and social entrepreneurship support please refer to:

EaSI Programme

EU support to social entrepreneurship

About Soria Futuro

Soria Futuro, PLC is a Social Investment Fund founded in 2002 by Financial Entities and Soria Regional Council. The mission being to contribute to strengthening the industrial fabric in the province of Soria providing financial resources to the companies (debt and equity) and business management. The philosophy of Soria Futuro, PLC is based on the concept of global balance combining social and economical return. They have invested more than EUR 4.5 million in companies of different sectors of activity in the province of Soria: food processing industry, renewable energy, agrofood, health, export, timber industry, etc. They have helped to create almost 1 000 jobs in the region.

In the beginning of 2016, Soria Futuro and El Hueco launched the first comprehensive accelerator specialised in Social entrepreneurship in Spain with the objective of accelerate 3 or 4 social enterprises every year. The programme is aimed at companies with less than 2 years of life mainly focused in elderly care, educations, logistics, agrofood, renewable energies, bio-sanitary sector, recycling, etc.

For further information:


Press contacts:

EIF: David Yormesor, tel: +352 24 85 81 346, e-mail: d.yormesor@eif.org

Soria Futuro: Sergio Cabrerizo, tel: +34 620 12 90 11,  e-mail: sergio.cabrerizo@soriafuturo.com

EU Commission: Christian WIGAND, +32 2 296 22 53, Sara Soumillion, +32 22967094


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