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EaSI Technical Assistance

The European Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (henceforth "EaSI") Technical Assistance will continue under the direct management of the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. The EaSI Technical Assistance programme supports microfinance institutions and social entrepreneurs in order to ease access to microfinance for vulnerable people who wish to start up a micro- enterprise, as well as for existing micro-enterprises.

Microfinance institutions that have signed up the European Code of Good Conduct for Microcredit Provision (the Code) and in addition have already successfully applied to a Call for Expression of Interest for Technical Assistance, will benefit from the EaSI Technical Assistance services.

These cover a range of activities such as tailored trainings and trainings on the Code, ratings, institutional assessments, and Code evaluations, a pre-requisite for microfinance institutions that want to benefit from the EaSI financial instruments support (i.e. guarantee and equity investments).

In addition, to further build the European microfinance and social enterprise sector and facilitate the exchange and dissemination of good practices the EaSI Technical Assistance team organizes peer-to-peer trainings, study visits and social enterprise & microfinance workshops. Finally, a dedicated Helpdesk helps share best practice and increases awareness of microfinance in Europe.

Service Providers

Frankfurt School of Finance & Management is leading the Consortium with the Microfinance Centre and the European Microfinance Network to implement the training services under EaSI Technical Assistance. MicroFinanza Rating will be implementing the rating, assessment and evaluation services for European microfinance institutions.

For more information do not hesitate to send an email to easi.ta@fs.de for EaSI Technical Assistance and to easi.ta@microfinanzarating.com for ratings, institutional assessments and Code evaluations.

Helpdesk

The fully renovated Helpdesk is a free service accessible at all times on the recently redesigned EaSI MicPro website, the European Commission’s web platform dedicated to microfinance in Europe. The tool aims to assist all institutions and individuals interested in European microfinance and can provide questions to multitude of topics, including: EaSI Financial Instruments, EaSI Technical Assistance for European Microfinance and the European Code of Good Conduct for Microcredit Provision. Periodic webinars will complement the Helpdesk service to provide a well-rounded support strengthening the microfinance sector in Europe.

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 Technical Assistance seeks to address these issues through the provision of technical assistance to microcredit providers and more generic support to the wider sector.

Objectives

EaSI Technical Assistance 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.

For those institutions that have not yet submitted an application to benefit from the EaSI Technical Assistance services, a new Call will be launched during the first quarter of 2019. 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.

News and Project Newsletter

Project News

EaSI Technical Assistance for Microfinance entering a new phase

Project Newsletters

The first project newsletter for 2018 is coming soon.

Events

Upcoming events

More information coming soon.

Past events

Six EaSI Technical Assistance workshops during the MFC-EMN Annual Conference 2018

Archive

2017 Project News

The EaSI Helpdesk on microfinance is live

European microfinance institutions start to be certified under the European Code of Good Conduct

Latest microfinance advisory news from EaSI TA,including success stories about the European Code of Good Conduct for Microcredit Provision

Nine new microcredit providers to benefit from fi-compass EaSI TA

Second Call for EaSI Technical Assistance to the European Microcredit Sector

INFO: European microcredit providers gain from practical fi-compass support

2017 Project Newsletters

EaSI TA 1st Project Newsletter - March 2017

EaSI TA 2nd Project Newsletter - July 2017

EaSI TA 3rd Project Newsletter - October 2017

EaSI TA 4th Project Newsletter - December 2017

Past EaSI TA Events (2015-2017)

Three EaSI TA Workshops within the Ethical and Solidarity Finance Forum (FES III) in Lisbon, Portugal, 24th - 26th November 2017

EaSI TA Thematic Seminar: 'Developing your business model and innovating in BDS', 16 November 2017 in Almelo, Netherlands 2017

EaSI TA Thematic Seminar in Romania: Product development and distribution channels in rural areas, Bucharest, 19 October 2017

EaSI TA Thematic Seminar on Mutual Learning 'Risk and Credit Management', Deva / Sarmizegetusa, Romania, 25 September 2017

Three EaSI TA workshops at the European Microfinance Network Annual Conference, Venice, 21-23 June 2017

EaSI TA workshop: EU support instruments for microfinance in Poland, Warsaw, 23 March 2017

First fi-compass microfinance workshop in Serbia, 14 March 2017

Microcredit for credit guarantee institutions in Italy: fi-compass EaSI TA workshop, Milan, Italy, 18 January 2017

Workshop on EU instruments for microfinance in Sofia, Bulgaria, 10 November 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Past Featured Events (2015-2017)

'Microfinance support for Portugal from fi-compass': Three EaSI TA workshops the “Ethical and Solidarity Finance Forum (FFES III)” in Lisbon, Portugal, 24-26 November 2017

'Promoting microfinance good practices from the Netherlands' : EaSI TA Seminar on strategy, business development (BDS) and digital innovation, Almelo, the Netherlands, 16 November 2017

'Microfinance advice for rural Romania': EaSI TA thematic seminar on Product Development and Distribution Channels in Rural Areas, Bucharest, Romania, 19 October 2017

EaSI TA Thematic Seminar on Mutual Learning 'Risk and Credit Management', Deva / Sarmizegetusa, Romania, 25 September 2017

'Microcredit providers meet in Venice': Three EaSI TA workshops for EU microcredit providers at the European Microfinance Network's 14th annual conference, Venice, Italy, 21-23 June 2017

First EaSI TA workshop on EU Instruments for microfinance in Sofia, Bulgaria: 10 November 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Past FS Press Releases (2015-2017)

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