The European Investment Fund (EIF) and all seven Erste Group member banks, in Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Serbia, have signed a Social Entrepreneurship guarantee agreement to provide finance for social organisations under the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI).
This new financing agreement was made possible by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the core of the Investment Plan for Europe, and allows Erste Group’s network of local banks to provide a total of EUR 50 million loans to more than 500 social organisations over the next 5 years.
Social entrepreneurs and non-profit organisations will be able to benefit from loans easier. Financing will be provided to innovative, socially-oriented organisations active in the education, health and social services sectors, or employing disadvantaged, marginalized, or vulnerable groups.
Hopefully, this agreement will make it able for social enterprises to get support in starting up and developing their business, thereby creating jobs and inclusive growth at the grass-roots level.
The EaSI Guarantee scheme was launched in June 2015 and is funded by the European Commission and managed by the European Invesment Fund. Social-enterprises wishing to apply for a loan under EaSI, can contact Erste Bank Group branches in one of the seven countries.