Dutch SME microcredit provider Qredits has received a 100 million euro loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB). The institution is the first European microfinance institution that lends directly from the EIB.
Qredits also signed an agreement with the European Investment Fund on Thursday, worth 25 million euro to cover the credit risk of new loans.
Both financial injections are backed by the guarantee of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) – a fund designed to overcome the current investment gap in the European Union.
“EFSI guarantees for 20 percent of the loan, the other 80 percent is backed by the Dutch Ministry for Economic Affairs”, says the Ministry. This is also the first EFSI project in The Netherlands.
“Holland has one of the largest rejection-rates as regards to credit applications by SME’s”, says Pim van Ballekom, vicepresident of the EIB. “This has to change.”
By covering the financial risks, Qredits is able to provide for more (small) loans to Dutch SME companies. The organisation says it can finance about 7500 (starting) entrepreneurs with a micro- or somewhat bigger SME credit.
“Because an EIB loan amounts to a maximum of 50 percent of the total investment, this deal secures 200 million euro worth of loans for small enterprises”, says Qredits.
“Investing in young companies is necessary to generate economic growth”, says European Commissioner Marianne Thyssen. “We moreover want to prove that Europe is a great place to invest.”