A second Polish microcredit provider under Progress Microfinance
Inicjatywa Mikro, owned by Creation Investments Social Ventures Fund I and Balkan Financial Sector Equity Fund, is joining the group of Polish microcredit providers under Progress Microfinance with a senior loan of up to EUR 4 million aimed at supporting the self-employed, in particular of the agricultural sector based in the South of Poland.
Inicjatywa Mikro is a non-bank microfinance institution established in Cracow in 1996 and one of the very few financial intermediaries offering microfinance in Poland. The funding through Progress Microfinance is expected to grow the microfinance portfolio of this institution and to support over 1,200 micro-businesses.
Inicjatywa Mikro will provide client education and mentoring, not only because of its credit risk benefits (i.e. making sure the client succeeds and can repay its micro-loan), but also because it is part of its very mission to help micro-entrepreneurs.
The European Progress Microfinance Facility (Progress Microfinance) is an EU microfinance initiative established with EUR 200 million of funding from the European Commission and the European Investment Bank and managed by the European Investment Fund.
Progress Microfinance aims to increase access to finance for micro-entrepreneurs, including the self-employed. It has a particular focus on, but is not restricted to, groups with limited access to the conventional credit market. Examples include female entrepreneurs, young entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs belonging to a minority group, entrepreneurs with a disability, sole traders etc. Loans of up to EUR 25,000 are made available through selected microfinance intermediaries participating in the facility.
The European Progress Microfinance Fund does not provide direct financing to micro-entrepreneurs or individuals, but it works through microfinance providers, such as FM Bank and Inicjatywa Mikro in Poland.