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EaSI Technical Assistance

In the frame of the project “Operational and Technical Assistance to the European Microcredit Sector within JASMINE/EaSI” launched in July 2015, EaSI Technical Assistance (TA) offers institutional assessments and tailored training to select microcredit providers in areas such as: Good Governance, Strategic Planning or Risk Management. Furthermore it provides workshops, events and a dedicated Helpdesk to share best practice and increase awareness of microfinance in Europe.

EaSI TA is funded by the European Commission (EC) in partnership with the European Investment Bank (EIB), which is supported by fi-compass. fi-compass is EIB’s unique advisory platform for financial instruments and microfinance, which is part of a large initiative to support the development of the microfinance sector in Europe.

Frankfurt School of Finance & Management is leading a Consortium together with the Microfinance Centre (MFC) and the European Microfinance Network (EMN) to implement the EaSI TA project. The three organizations provide technical assistance to European microcredit providers and  organize workshops and other events to help disseminate best practice in the sector.

Background

Despite Europe’s developed financial systems and their importance for employment creation and social inclusion, access to finance is a concern for smaller companies in Europe. This is especially the case when it comes to providing financial solutions for young entrepreneurs, women, start-up finance for unemployed and/or population with migration background, as in comparison with the need of the market, there are only few microcredit providers. This situation has become even more critical in view of the current socio-economic context of the European continent.

Overall, the European microcredit sector can be characterized as a relatively young and underdeveloped sector. It is composed of a variety of players and business models, with clear differences within Europe: For countries with less advanced financial sectors, the microfinance market continues to grow and become more structured resulting in a business model that is trending towards efficiency and sustainability. In Western European countries, on the other hand, financial markets are highly developed and the microfinance sector mostly concentrates on marginalized populations with an emphasis on fighting social exclusion.

The main challenge faced by all European microcredit providers is to improve their outreach and the quality of their operations. EaSI TA seeks to address these issues through the provision of technical assistance to microcredit providers and more generic support to the wider sector

Objectives

EaSI TA aims to increase the availability and accessibility of microfinance for vulnerable groups and micro enterprises, to build up the institutional capacity of microcredit providers and to increase access to finance for social enterprises.

What is offered?

EaSI TA delivers three strands of support:

Capacity Building

EaSI TA provides institutional assessment or rating to select European microcredit providers followed by tailored technical assistance to increase the quality of internal processes.
Accessible for select European microcredit providers.

European Code of Good Conduct

EaSI TA offers advice to microcredit providers regarding the European Code of Good Conduct for Microcredit Provision (Code) by way of training and evaluating its implementation.
Accessible for all European microcredit providers.

Dissemination of Best Practices

EaSI TA makes certain market development services publicly available, such as: workshops and seminars on microfinance related topics, and a helpdesk to lodge information requests on microfinance in Europe, in order to promote the spreading of best practices and improve the visibility of microfinance in Europe.
Accessible for individuals, microenterprises and organizations interested in microfinance in Europe.

Who is eligible?

All microcredit providers (greenfield microfinance institutions, non-bank microcredit providers and licensed banks) in the 28 member states of the European Union (EU), as well as those in Albania, Iceland, Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia and Turkey may respond to dedicated calls for expression of interest to request technical assistance. Other countries might follow.


The calls for interest are launched regularly by the EIB. fi-compass will select interested microcredit providers from those who respond to the call. To apply, microcredit providers must sign up to the European Code of Good Conduct for Microcredit Provision, a European-wide initiative to promote best practices within the sector.

Events

Upcoming events

More information coming soon.

Past events

EVENT: Two EaSI TA Workshops during the 3rd European Microfinance Forum, Rome, Italy, 19-21 October 2016

EVENT: More microfinance advice from fi-compass for European microcredit providers, Regional EaSI TA workshop in Skopje, FYROM, 22-23 September 2016

EVENT: EaSI TA at the Microfinance Centre Annual Conference: 'Microfinance in the Cloud', Tirana, June 2016

EVENT: EaSI TA at the European Microfinance Network Annual Conference: 'Shaping European Microfinance: Who, What, and For Whom?', Warsaw, June 2016

EVENT: Hungary and UK host fi-compass workshops for microcredit providers, March 2016

EVENT: EaSI TA at the European Microfinance Week 2015: 'Financial Inclusion for Sustainable Development', Luxembourg, November 2015

EVENT: EaSI TA at the Microfinance Centre Annual Conference "Employment, Youth and Investment: What can Microfinance do?”, Prague, November 2015

EVENT: EaSI TA at the Conference “What role can microfinance play in Europe in the era of austerity”, Bordeaux, October 2015

Featured events

FEATURE: EaSI TA workshop at the Regional Forum ‘Financial Inclusion through Microfinance’ in Skopje, FYROM, 22-23 September 2016

FEATURE: 'Microfinance in the Cloud': EaSI TA at the Microfinance Centre Annual Conference, Tirana, June 2016

FEATURE: 'European microfinance in the spotlight': EaSI TA at the European Microfinance Network Annual Conference, Warsaw, June 2016

FEATURE: 'Microfinance for all?' EaSI TA at a microfinance workshop in Bratislava, May 2016

FEATURE: fi-compass workshop supports the development of Greek microfinance, March 2016

FEATURE: EaSI TA at the workshop “Microfinance under the European Social Fund (ESF)”, Brussels, February 2016

FEATURE: EaSI TA at the Conference “University Meets Microfinance” at Frankfurt School, September 2015

Event materials

FS Press Releases:

Joint communication: Second Call for EaSI Technical Assistance to the European Microcredit Sector

New technical assistance project launched to support microfinance in Europe - August 2015

For more information contact