The social development bank in Europe

Speaking the entrepreneur’s language

Young women in Spain benefit from microfinance thanks to the CEB

MicroBank Schwa“I always wanted to have a business but didn’t know if I could ever achieve that,” says Rosa López, the founder of the Schwa Language Academy. The young entrepreneur took her business idea to MicroBank, who advised her on the project and gave her a €16,000 loan to start her venture.

“When you finish your university studies, you have no money and no means to start a business; you need help,” says López.

Entrepreneurship can be a powerful tool to fight unemployment but difficulties in accessing finance represent one of the main barriers for aspiring entrepreneurs. Young people are in a disadvantaged position: they have low personal savings and their lack of credit history makes it difficult to obtain external finance.

In just two years, López's business has taken off - the initial team of three people who were running the academy has become a staff of eight, and a new language centre in Sineu has been added to the first centre in Capdepera.

The CEB has provided almost €300 million in loans to MicroBank in Spain, the only bank in the country that specialises in microfinance. In January 2017, the CEB approved a further €100 million loan to MicroBank, supporting an ambitious and highly social initiative designed to promote entrepreneurship, foster economic growth, create employment and help individuals and their families to overcome temporary financial difficulties and access the formal banking system. 

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