Europe’s microfinance sector is relatively new, but growth prospects are exciting, particularly in Member States whose regulatory framework allows micro-credit providers to increase their lending capacity and even convert into fully-fledged banks.
Since 2000, the European Investment Fund (EIF) has provided guarantees, equity, loans and capacity building services to microfinance intermediaries, ranging from well-established banks to small financial institutions. Past evaluations have focused on specific initiatives mandated by the European Commission and managed by the EIF. Examples include Jasmine (Joint Action to Support Microfinance Institutions), the European Progress Microfinance Facility and EaSI (the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation). Operations Evaluation (EV) used those studies to assess the entirety of the Fund’s microfinance activities and identify areas for improvement.
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