Juncker Plan supports 400 microbusinesses in Luxembourg
(Photo: Licence CC)
The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Microlux, a microfinance institution, have signed the first agreement to support microbusinesses in Luxembourg under the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (Easi). This agreement was made possible by the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). The EFSI is the central pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe, the so-called “Juncker Plan”.
Thanks to the financial backing of the European Commission, EIF is providing a guarantee that will enable Microlux to provide 5 million euros in loans to around 400 microbusinesses in Luxembourg over the next three years.
Microlux, the first non-bank microfinance institution in Luxembourg, provides small loans to borrowers who often experience difficulties accessing finance, including vulnerable communities such as refugees and other financially excluded individuals.
An official launch event is taking place in Luxembourg today under the patronage of the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg.
Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, said: “This Commission is focused on being big on big things and small on small things. Microlux, on the other hand, plays the valuable role of being big on small loans. I am delighted and proud that our plan is channelling investment to people who would have otherwise been denied access to the finance they need to make their microbusinesses a real success.”
Speaking at the high-level signature event in Luxembourg, EIF deputy chief executive, Roger Havenith, said: “Microborrowers will now have access to this 5 million euros facility which will be a valuable lifeline when starting a microbusiness. We are delighted to be signing the first Easi transaction under EFSI in Luxembourg and very proud to support the Luxembourgish microfinance market via this new microcredit provider.”
Remy Jacob, Microlux president, said: “In Luxembourg, as is the case across Europe, people put their hope into new entrepreneurial ventures which they cannot carry out due to a lack of access to traditional sources of finance. Microlux is here to help these people by providing both advice and microfinance to allow them to launch or develop their activities.”
Microenterprises wishing to apply for a loan under EFSI can do so by contacting Microlux directly.
The Investment Plan is already expected to mobilise around 250 million euros worth of investments in Luxembourg and a total of around 178 billion euros across Europe as a whole.