|June 2015 - Microfinance Institutions and Banks in Europe: The story to date|
|December 2013 - European Green Microfinance: a first look|
|December 2012 - EMN Research on Senior Entrepreneurship|
|November 2012 - EMN study for Youth Entrepreneurship|
|June 2011 - Microfinance and Business Development Services in Europe. What can we learn from the South?|
|April 2011 - Microfinance in Europe and its Outreach to Target Groups|
Banks represent a dense network in Europe. According to the European Central Bank, as of March 2015, the European Union (EU) counted 7,233 credit institutions. They play a crucial role in business financing (80% of European business activities are funded by banks; European Banking Federation, 2014), especially for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). However, access to finance is not easy for the SMEs, particularly when they lack formal collateral or credit history.
In comparison, Microfinance Institutions (MFIs)
mainly focus on the financing of very small and
small businesses (business microcredit) and low
income or poor individuals (personal microcredit).
The driving force of the microcredit market is
financial and social inclusion. Targeted microborrowers
belong to segments of the population
such as (long-term) unemployed, women, migrants,
young, rural and/or disabled people. Business
loans generally target very small (new) businesses
that lack any form of collateral or credit history.
However, no single definition of microfinance
exists in Europe (European Banking Federation,
2010). The relative number of European MFIs is
relatively low, estimated to range between 500
and 700 institutions.
The aim of this study is to draw a relevant picture of MFI-bank partnerships in Europe. We analyse why MFIs and banks mutually collaborate, the challenges they encounter and discuss possible paths for improvement of their cooperation.