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CEB supports small businesses and entrepreneurship in the Netherlands

21 March 2016

PARIS - The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) approved a €100 million loan to Rabobank in order to facilitate access to financing for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and to encourage entrepreneurship.  

In the Netherlands, entrepreneurship is an important driver for economic growth and job creation, accounting for 70% of total employment. Small, family-owned businesses employing family members form a large part of the MSME sector. Nevertheless, MSMEs, which have been severely affected by the financial crisis, have difficulty accessing bank financing.  

The loan approved by the CEB will channel financing at attractive rates to Dutch MSMEs generating social and environmental added-value, through Rabobank’s “Social Impact Loan” instrument (SIL).  

Rabobank, the main cooperative bank in the Netherlands, is known for its support of social entrepreneurship and for promoting job creation and income growth. It created SIL in order to incentivise small businesses to adopt social and environmental best practices.    

The sectors eligible for CEB financing through Rabobank include medical and social care providers, especially for persons with special needs, activities advancing the social integration of persons with disabilities, and educational service providers, such as elementary schools and special needs schools.     

CEB Governor Rolf Wenzel said: “Providing access to financing for MSMEs is one of the CEB’s main sectoral lines of action. I am very pleased that small businesses generating high social added value will benefit from this loan, which inaugurates the cooperation between the CEB and Rabobank. The funds will make an important contribution to supporting the MSME sector in the Netherlands.” 

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.

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