Here's how it works
We help the most vulnerable by providing loans and other support to microfinance institutions and investment vehicles. In turn, these institutions grant guarantees, loans and give advice to micro-businesses and micro-entrepreneurs, with a focus on activities that provide, among others, an income to women, young people and those living in rural and poorer communities.
We are committed to microfinance operations that demonstrate enhanced social and environmental policies, impact and added value. We support such operations with tailored financial and non-financial instruments, using EIB’s own resources or under the European Union’s mandates. In addition, the EIB supports the European Commission in the implementation and dissemination of the European Code of Good Conduct for Microcredit Provision, the quality benchmark for ethical and responsible lending practices in the European microfinance sector.
Products and services
The EIB can either directly invest in financial institutions, such as microfinance institutions (MFIs) and banks, or indirectly in microfinance investment vehicles (MIVs), such as funds and microfinance holding groups.
- Medium/long-term loans to financial institutions (typically MFIs).
- Equity and debt investments in MIVs that in turn provide debt and/or equity to MFIs.
- Guarantee products for financial intermediaries
The EIB provides technical assistance to enhance the development impact of its microfinance operations. Under the Social Investments and Skills Window of the InvestEU Advisory Hub, we offer tailored support to microfinance and social entrepreneurship finance providers, such as:
- peer-to-peer learning and study visits
- institutional assessments and ratings
- impact assessments
- evaluation of the implementation of the European Code of Good Conduct for Microcredit Provision
We also aim to strengthen the capacity of our partner financial institutions to serve microenterprises. We provide technical assistance support and capacity building in an array of areas:
- financial and social performance, to strengthen financial institution sustainability and actively implement client protection principles
- responsible digitalisation of operations, to improve financial partners' outreach to microenterprises, notably in rural areas
- human resource management and governance, to ensure the smooth functioning of the financial institution and the creation of a safe, competitive and responsive environment for its employees
- risk management, for financial institutions' long-term sustainability through identification, assessment, mitigation and monitoring of risk across their operations
- training and coaching programmes for microenterprises, to enhance their financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills
Technical assistance activities are primarily provided through a range of regional customised capacity building programmes.