More than 5,000 Albanian micro-borrowers with limited access to finance are expected to benefit from the first guarantee agreement signed recently by the European Investment Fund (EIF) and FondiBesa (BESA). It is aimed at supporting micro-enterprises in Albania under the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI). This new EaSI guarantee agreement with the non-bank microfinance institution will cover a loan portfolio of Lek 3 billion (€22 million) for micro-borrowers, targeting, in particular, the agribusiness sector and youth entrepreneurial activity.
Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility Marianne Thyssen said that thanks to EU funding, €22 million in loans at lower interest rates will be offered to young entrepreneurs and microenterprises in the agribusiness sector in Albania.
“Agriculture is a vital sector of Albania’s economy and provides employment for almost 50% of the population in rural areas. Through its EaSIprogramme, the European Commission confirms not only its commitment to reinforce local economies but also to work towards upwards convergence by providing financial assistance to countries eligible to join the EU,” Thyssen highlighted.
The EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation Guarantee scheme was launched in June 2015 and is funded by the European Commission and managed by the European Investment Fund. Under EaSI, the European Commission supports microfinance and social entrepreneurship finance with an overall envelope of Euro 193 million for the period 2014-2020.
News Source: EU Delegation Albania