Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

Brussels, 16 May 2023

Leading Dutch microfinance provider Qredits has signed a new guarantee agreement with the European Investment Fund (EIF) to provide at least €100 million financing to Dutch micro-entrepreneurs. The transaction is backed by the Social Investment and Skills window of the European Union’s InvestEU programme and is expected to reach about 5 000 entrepreneurs in the Netherlands and in the Dutch overseas territories.

The InvestEU support for the transaction means that Qredits receives a guarantee on a €100 million portfolio of new financing, enabling it to target underserved groups in the markets, such as young people, female entrepreneurs, and businesses set up by migrants. In this way, micro- entrepreneurs will be able to benefit from loans at a reduced interest rate and with lower collateral requirements. They can also benefit from business development and coaching services provided by Qredits.

European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit said:

“Thanks to this financial agreement under InvestEU, around 5 000 entrepreneurs in the Netherlands will be empowered to grow their business ideas. It is particularly positive that the financing from Qredits will target less-served social groups such as young people, women and people with a migrant background.”

Elwin Groenevelt, CEO of Qredits Microfinanciering Nederland, stated: 

“Qredits supports and strengthens entrepreneurship through loans, coaching and training courses. Instruments like the InvestEU guarantee enable us to support even more start-ups and small businesses that would not be able to access funding elsewhere. Especially in these uncertain times we are grateful that EU funding has increased for this crucial sector in our economy.”

EIF Chief Executive Marjut Falkstedt added:

Qredits has been providing essential services to small entrepreneurs for many years and the EIF is glad to have been part of that journey. The improvement of access to finance for micro-entrepreneurs, and in particular underserved segments like female entrepreneurs, youth and immigrants, coupled with the essential coaching services it provides, enable the EIF to fulfil an important part of our mission. We look forward to continuing this fruitful partnership to the benefit of Dutch micro-businesses.”

Under this latest transaction between the EIF and Qredits, up to 8% of the financing available is earmarked for small entrepreneurs in the Dutch overseas territories. Qredits expects to help around 5 000 small entrepreneurs, based on an average loan size of €20 000 per served client. All financing decisions under the programme remain with Qredits.

Background information

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank Group. Its main goal is to support microenterprises and SMEs by helping them to access finance. The EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments that specifically target this market segment. In this role, the EIF contributes to the pursuit of key EU policy objectives such as competitiveness and growth, innovation and digitalisation, social impact, skills and human capital, climate action and environmental sustainability.

Qredits is a non-profit organisation with 55 employees and around 610 volunteers and aims to help starting entrepreneurs and expanding small businesses by providing loans and coaching services. The organisation is supported by the Dutch government through equity-like funding and various guarantees. The EIF has been supporting Qredits since 2011 through various guarantees and other products.

The InvestEU programme provides the European Union with crucial long-term funding by leveraging substantial private and public funds in support of a sustainable recovery. It also helps mobilise private investment for EU policy priorities, such as the European Green Deal and the digital transition. InvestEU brings together under one roof the multitude of EU financial instruments previously available to support investment in the European Union, making funding for investment projects in Europe simpler, more efficient and more flexible. The programme consists of three components: the InvestEU Fund, the InvestEU Advisory Hub and the InvestEU Portal. The InvestEU Fund is deployed through implementing partners that will invest in projects using the EU budget guarantee of €26.2 billion. The entire budget guarantee will back the investment projects of the implementing partners, increase their risk-bearing capacity and thus mobilise at least €372 billion in additional investment.

Source – EU Commission

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