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FONDI BESA and EUROPEAN INVESTIMEVE FUND


FONDI BESA and EUROPEAN INVESTIMEVE FUND acting for the account of the EU Microfinance Platform FCP FIS – Employment and Social Innovation sub-fund Increase access to loans for small and micro enterprises in Albania EIF grants a €10 million loan to Fondi Besa to increase access to finance for the micro and small enterprises under the EaSI programme.

Fondi Besa and the European Investment Fund (EIF) have signed in July 30th, 2022 a loan agreement that will make €10 million available to enhance access to finance for micro and small entrepreneurs operating in Albania.

This loan will be focused in financing microenterprises, in both start-up and development phase, including microenterprises that employ persons that have lost or are in risk of losing their job, or have difficulties entering or re-entering the labour market, who are at risk of social exclusion or are socially excluded and are in a disadvantaged position with regards to Access to conventional credit market.

The Operation is co-funded by the European Union under the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI), the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund. We believe that this initiative, will have a strong impact on the development of the Albanian micro and small enterprises, creation of the new businesses and jobs. The funds will be available to microenterprises active in Albania, that will be able to take out loans of up to €25 000.

This Agreement follows the first very fruitful cooperation between the two institutions, which consisted in the signing of the First Guarantee Agreement in Albania aimed at supporting micro-enterprises in Albania as part of the “European Program for Employment and Social Innovation” – EaSI). The EaSI guarantee consisted of covering a portfolio of 3 billion Lek (€22 million) for micro-businesses, mainly in the agricultural sector and in youth entrepreneurial activities. More than 5,000 small borrowers, with limited opportunities to obtain credit from the banking system, would benefit from this agreement.

The present cooperation once again confirms the commitment of both institutions to strengthen local economies, to promote employment and self-employment and to support the most vulnerable people in the labour market.

Prof. Assoc. Dr. Bajram Muçaj, Executive Director of the Fondi BESA, in the framework of this agreement, emphasized: “We are very pleased and highly appreciate the cooperation with the European Investment Fund, as the contribution to strengthening the micro and small enterprises remains a key priority in fulfilling our mission. This new agreement provides us with an excellent opportunity to further expand the range of financing options that we provide to the new entrepreneurs or those looking to expand or improve their existing business activities. We believe that the support of the EIF will be a value added to our activity, while it will have a positive impact on the socio-economic life of our clients and the country as a whole. The continuous support of the European Investment Fund is a clear indication of the trust and valued cooperation between our institutions. We believe that the renewed partnership and our cooperation with the European Investment Fund is the next building block in our relationship that stretches towards a closer cooperation into the future.”

Existing micro-enterprises or those persons who have an idea to start-up a microenterprise and wish to apply for a microcredit, can do so directly through Fondi BESA branches, which are in almost in all cities of Albania.

Background information:

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 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 fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth and employment.

For further information about EIF, please visit:

https://www.eif.org

http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/microfinance/easi/)

About the European Union Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI)

Under the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI), the European Union supports microfinance and social enterprise finance with an overall envelope of EUR193 million for the 2014-2020 period. The programme aims to increase access to finance for micro-enterprises, including the self-employed and vulnerable persons, and social enterprises, thereby fostering job creation and social inclusion.

The EaSI Funded Instrument is a EUR 200 million fund launched in October 2019 that provides loans to financial intermediaries to support lending to micro-enterprises and social enterprises. It is one of several EU financial instruments deployed under the EaSI Programme to support microfinance and social entrepreneurship. The EaSI Funded Instrument is a partnership between the European Union, the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund.

For further general information on the programme, please visit to the following links:

http://ec.europa.eu/social/easi

http://ec.europa.eu/social/microfinance

http://ec.europa.eu/social/socialentrepreneurship

About Fondi BESA

Founded in 1994, Fondi Besa sh.a. is a leading non-banking microfinance institution in Albania. The mission of the Fondi Besa is to help economic growth and reduce poverty in urban, semi-urban and rural areas of Albania by promoting the sector of micro, small and medium enterprises through the creation of a private micro-finance fund in Albania, which is self-sustainable. Fondi Besa clients come from all socio-economic strata, including the unemployed as well as start-up businesses. Fondi Besa offers a wide range of loan products, including consumer loans. Fondi Besa aims to provide financial products and services that meet and exceed the expectations of its customers, seeking to be their first choice in the SME segment in Albania and the most reliable for its market.

For further information about Fondi BESA, please visit www.fondibesa.com

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