CEB and Qredits sign a €16.6 million loan agreement to support micro-businesses in the Netherlands
2 August 2018
PARIS - The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) and Qredits Microfinanciering Nederland signed a Framework Loan Agreement worth €16.6 million in order to facilitate access to financing for micro-enterprises and to support financial inclusion and job creation.
In the Netherlands, entrepreneurship is an important driver of economic growth and job creation and, while microfinance has seen an important development since 2009, the supply of microloans to entrepreneurs is lagging behind a rising demand.
Qredits is a social enterprise that supports entrepreneurs in the Netherlands to successfully start or invest in their company. The only microfinance provider operating nationwide and with the support of the Dutch government, Qredits has already provided more than 13,000 loans for a total amount of more than 260 million euros.
The CEB-funded programme, which is in line with the Dutch government’s objective of supporting social integration and financial inclusion, will target in particular self-entrepreneurs on social security benefits who would like to develop their own start-up. In addition to financing, it will provide training and technical advice.
The programme is expected to make a significant contribution to the integration or re-integration into the labour market of unemployed and inactive persons, thus having a positive impact on job creation and preservation across the country.Elwin Groenevelt, CEO Qredits said: "The Council of Europe Bank is the ideal partner for us in view of its strong social mission. It is great that one of the largest social development banks in Europe is interested in the microfinance sector. We are convinced that with this loan we have started a long period of cooperation."
CEB Governor Rolf Wenzel expressed his satisfaction with the project approved and said: “Facilitating access to financing for micro, small and medium-sized businesses is one of the CEB’s main lines of action. I am very pleased that entrepreneurs with plans to start a micro-business will benefit from this CEB loan, especially since the beneficiaries include vulnerable people such as migrants and unemployed persons.”
The Netherlands, a member country of the CEB since 1978, has benefitted from €766 million in loans to finance social projects, primarily in the sectors of job creation and preservation, energy efficiency and municipal investments.
Set up in 1956, the CEB (Council of Europe Development Bank) has 41 member states. Twenty-two Central, Eastern and South Eastern European countries, forming the Bank's target countries, are listed among the member states. As a major instrument of the policy of solidarity in Europe, the Bank finances social projects by making available resources raised in conditions reflecting the quality of its rating (Aa1 with Moody's, outlook stable, AA+ with Standard & Poor's, outlook positive and AA+ with Fitch Ratings, outlook stable). It thus grants loans to its member states, and to financial institutions and local authorities in its member states for the financing of projects in the social sector, in accordance with its Articles of Agreement.