EPRSauthor By / March 5, 2014

Microfinance in Europe and within Cohesion Policy

The European Union runs microfinance programmes (loans under €25 000) for self-employed people and businesses with fewer than 10 employees….

© Olivier Le Moal / Fotolia
Microfinance in Europe and within Cohesion Policy
© Olivier Le Moal / Fotolia

The European Union runs microfinance programmes (loans under €25 000) for self-employed people and businesses with fewer than 10 employees. The EU does not directly provide microloans (loans up to €25 000) to individuals or businesses, but provides guarantees, loans and equity to intermediaries who can then lend to small businesses or make available equity finance.

This Keysource provides some selected documents on: Microfinance in Europe; JASMINE and PROGRESS Microfinance Facility.

Microfinance in Europe

Code of Good Conduct for Microcredit Provision / DG Regional Policy, June 2013, 56 p.

The European Code of Good Conduct for Microcredit Provision provides a set of standards in terms of management, governance, risk management, reporting, and consumer and investor relations that are common to the microcredit sector in the European Union. These standards are for the benefit of customers, investors, funders, owners, regulators and partner organisations.

Implementation of the European Code of Good Conduct for Microcredit Provision / EMN – European Microfinance Network, Policy Note, November 2013, 8 p.

This policy note is based on results of the pilot phase put in place to test the “European Code of Good Conduct for Microcredit Provision”. The pilot phase took place from November 2011 till December 2012 with a number of volunteer organisations. Its aim was to identify potential shortcomings and clarify clauses where deemed necessary. The experience from applying the Code and the feedback collected from pilot organisations contributed in amending and updating the Code.

The role of Green Microfinance and its potential on job creation in Europe / EMN – European Microfinance Network, Policy Note, December 2013, 8 p.

This policy note states that no clear definition for “Green Microfinance” exists at this stage. Its author(s) have included in “Green Microfinance” any environmentally friendly initiatives implemented by a Microfinance Institution (MFI). For instance, the establishment of an environmental policy; programmes to reduce energy consumption within the institution; clients’ environmental risk assessment; microcredits for environmentally friendly technologies such as renewable energies or energy efficiency; microcredits for environmentally friendly activities such as: organic productions, ecotourism, recycling; and, environmental awareness-raising actions or provision of trainings for environmental activities, etc.

European Green Microfinance: a first look / by Davide Forcella, European Microfinance Network, EMN Research paper, 2013, 73 p.

This study provides a first look on the development and trends of green microfinance in Europe: member, candidate and potential candidate countries. The study contains information about environmentally friendly initiatives developed by institutions that provide microfinance services in Europe and elaborates on their motivations, constraints and strategies. The potential of European green microfinance is discussed and some possible policies to foster the development of this field are presented. Specific topics include: green jobs, microfinance and private public partnerships.

Overview of the Microcredit Sector in the European Union / by Mirko Bendig, Michael Unterberg and Benjamin Sarpong, European Microfinance Network, 27 December 2012, 100 p.

This report aim to provide a consistent picture of the different microfinance activities, the market segments and the active and to compare the performance of European MFIs based on their organizational forms which characterize the sector. This 5th edition covers EU and Non-EU member states in Eastern Europe including all potential EU candidate states. See especially country profiles on pp. 55-83

Microfinance in Europe and its outreach to target groups: evidence from the EMN overview of the Microcredit Sector in the European Union 2008-2009 / by Stefanie Lämmermann, EMN Working Paper, April 2011, 48 p.

This working paper is based on the 2010 Survey “Overview of the Microcredit Sector in the European Union 2008-2009”. The survey shows that “European MFIs primarily aim at microenterprise promotion (70%) and job creation (63%), followed by social inclusion and poverty reduction (62%) and financial inclusion (53%). Women empowerment is the mission of 35% of the MFIs while minority empowerment is the mission of 29%. Microfinance providers’ principal target groups are people excluded from mainstream financial services (47%), followed by women (45%) and immigrants/ethnic minorities (42%) as well as unemployed people (32%). Twenty-nine percent target young people and 21% the disabled. Non-bankable clients make up 65.5% of microfinance clients.” (Source: the working paper)

The EIB Group and microfinance: promoting inclusive finance / EIB- European Bank of Investment, 12 October 2011, 12 p.

This leaflet includes information on EIB support stakeholders to address specific market conditions and which are the financing solutions EIB offers for a variety of end-clients.

Microfinance in Europe: a market overview / by Helmut Kraemer-Eis and Alession Conforti, EIF Research and Market Analysis, Working Paper, no 1, 2009, 48 p.

This study investigates the effects of microcredit in the European market. It also reviews selected microcredit markets in Europe with a focus on social inclusion, job creation and market gaps aspects.

JASMINE – Joint Action to Support Micro-finance Institutions in Europe

Microfinance providers which have benefited from JASMINE: list by country / EIF- European Investment Fund, 2013

Since its launch in 2010, EIF has provided Technical Assistance to 70 selected microfinance institutions (MFIs) across the EU to increase the quality of their internal processes. 30 microcredit providers below have been selected by EIF to benefit from JASMINE in 2013.

EIF – European Fund for Investment has published factsheets for countries which have benefited from EIF (JASMINE included), as follows: Bulgaria, Belgium, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Turkey and UK.

Supporting micro-credit providers with JASMINE / DG Regional Policy, 2010. 12 p.

This brochure gives an overview of the JASMINE – Joint Action to support micro-finance institutions in Europe e.g.: how does it work, its impact and future developments.

JASMINE – selected beneficiaries since 2010 – DG Regional and Urban Policy

This webpage includes a list with beneficiaries (micro-credit providers and micro-financial institutions, by country and by years) that have been selected for financing under JASMINE Technical Assistance Facility.

JASMINE: Joint Action to Support Micro-finance Institutions in Europe – website of DG Regional policy

This website provides detailed information on JASMINE: background documents, implementation, useful links etc.

European PROGRESS Microfinance Facility

Report on the implementation of the European Progress Microfinance Facility 2012 / European Commission, COM(2013) 562 final, 31 July 2013, 16 p.

This report looks at the implementation of Progress Microfinance after more than two years of operation. The report includes detailed information on concluded contracts. It reports on data collected as a part of the Facility’s social impact assessment and describes complementarity and coordination of Progress Microfinance with other programmes. The report also identifies possible future implications and trends.

EaSI: New EU umbrella programme for employment and social policy / by Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, November 2013, 28 p.

For the programming period 2014-2020 PROGRESS Microfinance Facility is included, together with PROGRESS and EURES, in EaSI programme. EaSI programme will help the EU deliver more coherent policy, encourage job mobility and provide targeted microfinance to the more vulnerable. This brochure provides information on how the three programmes will be implemented. Detailed information on Microfinance and Social Entrepreneurship axis of EaSI programme is provided on pages 19-21.

PROGRESS for microfinance in Europe / by Birthe Bruhn-Leon, Per-Erik Eriksson and Helmut Kraemer-Eis, EIF, Working Paper, n.13, 2012, 37 p.

This study provides a general market overview with updated information for selected aspects of microfinance in Europe. It also explains the rationale for public support in the microfinance area and focuses on the chosen approach for the current Progress Microfinance mandate. The paper provides classifications of various intermediary business models and relates suitable financial product designs to their heterogeneous financing needs. It also points out possible opportunities for further market developments.

Decision no 283/2010/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a European Progress Microfinance Facility for employment and social inclusion, 25 March 2010

Lists with current microcredit providers for the Progress Microfinance in 16 Member States are available on the website of DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion

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