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CEB to lend €100 million to Nuevo Micro Bank to support MSMEs in Spain

20 March 2018

PARIS – The Administrative Council of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) approved a €100 million loan to Nuevo Micro Bank (NMB) in order to facilitate access to financing for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Spain and boost job creation and preservation. 

MSMEs are an important driver of economic growth at a time when unemployment in the country remains high at over 16 percent and more than double the average of EU-28. Microbusinesses in particular provide around 40 percent of employment in Spain, which is considerably higher than the EU average. Yet they continue to face obstacles obtaining financing from the formal banking system. 

The CEB loan will channel much-needed financing to microbusinesses, entrepreneurs and self-employed professionals, with emphasis on women and persons of migrant background, in order to help them launch a new professional activity or expand an existing business. The funds will also be used for microcredits to low-income persons, including persons with a disability, who wish to finance personal or family projects. 

NMB, a social bank founded in 2007, promotes the development of economic and social tools and services in a sustainable way. It provides microcredits to businesses and individuals with limited or no access to traditional lending channels. 

In 2017, the CEB lent €100 million to NMB to promote entrepreneurship and boost employment growth in Spain. The CEB funds were channelled to almost 7 000 start-up or business expansion projects across a range of sectors, helping to create over 7 500 new jobs and preserve more than 6 000 existing ones throughout the country. One-third of the funds benefited women, and almost 10 percent of the beneficiaries were men and women of migrant background. 

Commenting on the loan approval, CEB Governor Rolf Wenzel said: “Supporting MSMEs as a way of creating and preserving jobs is one of the CEB’s priority areas of operation against the backdrop of continued high unemployment in Europe. With this loan, thousands of small businesses with no access to financing can obtain the funds they need. We are glad to be working again with NMB, which will allow us to reach a large number of beneficiaries throughout Spain, including persons from disadvantaged population groups. This is precisely what the CEB as a social development bank strives to achieve.”

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.

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