The EaSI Guarantee Instrument is funded from the EaSI Programme and is specifically dedicated to microfinance and social entrepreneurship. One of its key objectives is to increase the availability of and access to finance for vulnerable groups wishing to launch their own enterprises, micro-enterprises and social enterprises, both in their start-up and development phases.
The EaSI Guarantee Instrument builds on the success of the European Progress Microfinance Facility (Progress Microfinance) an EU initiative launched in 2010 and managed by EIF, that has so far mobilised more than EUR 440m spread across more than 50 000 micro-borrowers.
How does the EaSI Guarantee Instrument work?
EIF does not provide financing directly to micro-entrepreneurs or social enterprises. Through the EaSI Guarantee Instrument, the EIF offers guarantees and counter-guarantees to financial intermediaries, thereby providing them with a partial credit risk protection for newly originated loans to eligible beneficiaries. Intermediaries are selected after an application under a call for expression of interest followed by a due diligence process. Once selected by EIF, these partners act as EaSI financial intermediaries, and start originating loans to eligible beneficiaries within the agreed availability period.
Thanks to the risk-sharing mechanism between the financial intermediaries and the European Commission, the EaSI Guarantee Instrument enables selected microcredit providers and social enterprise finance providers to expand their outreach to underserved micro and social enterprises, facilitating access to finance for target groups who have difficulties in accessing the conventional credit market.
Who can benefit from the EaSI Guarantee Instrument and what products will be offered by EaSI financial intermediaries?
Under the EaSI Guarantee Instrument, EIF provides capped guarantees and counter-guarantees partially covering the portfolio credit risk in the microfinance and social entrepreneurship segments.
|Portfolios of Micro-loans up to EUR 25,000 for:||Portfolios of debt financing products (including loans, mezzanine loans,subordinated debts, leases and profit-sharing loans) up to EUR 500,000 for:|
Vulnerable persons who have lost or are at risk of losing their job, or have difficulty in entering or re-entering the labour market, or are at risk of social exclusion, or are socially excluded, and are in a disadvantaged position with regard to access to the conventional credit market and who wish to start up or develop their own micro- enterprises.
Micro-enterprisesMicro-enterprises in both start-up and development phase, especially micro-enterprises which employ persons as referred to in the above mentioned definition of Micro-borrowers.
Social EnterprisesEnterprises with either an annual turnover not exceeding EUR 30 million, or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding EUR 30 million which are not themselves a collective investment undertaking.
Who is eligible to become a financial intermediary under the EaSI Guarantee Instrument?
Eligible financial intermediaries are public and private bodies established on a national, regional or local level in one or several EaSI participating countries, authorised to provide microcredit for persons and micro-enterprises and/or financing for social enterprises.
Examples of intermediaries potentially eligible for an EaSI Guarantee Instrument are:
- in the field of microfinance: financial institutions, microfinance institutions/microcredit providers, leasing companies, guarantee schemes, guarantee institutions or other institutions authorised to provide microfinance loans/guarantees or risk-sharing structures according to the applicable legislation;
- in the field of the social entrepreneurship: financial institutions, guarantee schemes, guarantee institutions, foundations, family offices, social investment funds or other institutions duly authorised to provide loans/guarantees or risk-sharing structures according to the applicable legislation.
At the date of publication of the call for expression of interest, the countries covered by the EaSI Programme comprise EU Member States, Albania, FYROM, Iceland, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey, and may include other associated countries having entered into relevant agreements with the European Union. Additional eligible EFTA, Candidate and Potential Candidate countries may be added to the participating countries.
How to apply for the EaSI Guarantee Instrument
For financial institutions:
If you are eligible, you can apply by downloading the Call for expression of interest and all the application documents available here below by 30 September 2023. EIF will select intermediaries after a due diligence process.
- Annex I .doc|.pdf
- Annex II Microfinance Guarantee Term Sheet .pdf
- Annex III Social Entrepreneurship Guarantee Term Sheet .pdf
- Annex IV The Business Development Services Pilot .pdf - Deadline for receiving application for the BDS Pilot is 31 December 2020
- Terms of confidentiality
For micro-enterprises and social enterprises:
Are you looking for a loan? Download here the list of financial intermediaries currently operating under the EaSI Guarantee Instrument.