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CEB supports micro-businesses in the Netherlands

19 June 2017

PARIS - The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) approved a € 16.6 million loan to Qredits 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. 

The CEB loan to Qredits, the only microfinance provider operating nationwide and with the support of the Dutch government, will help to strengthen financial inclusion in the Netherlands by unblocking access to financing for thousands of entrepreneurs. 

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. 

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.” 

This is not the first such CEB operation in the Netherlands. In March 2016, the CEB approved a € 100 million loan to Rabobank, to channel financing to Dutch MSMEs generating social and environmental added-value through Rabobank’s “Social Impact Loan” instrument.

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 stable 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.