In the Netherlands non-profit loans fill a gap left by banks that don’t give credit to small businesses—and help Jorine Koster live out a dream born in her grandmother’s kitchen.

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As a child in Delft, Jorine Koster used to watch her grandmother in the kitchen. “I learned by looking, watching her hands kneading, chopping, stirring,” she says. But when Jorine wanted to open her own restaurant in her twenties, she hit a snag—finding a bank to back her.

The Netherlands has one of the highest refusal rates in Europe when it comes to loan requests by small businesses. Jorine did not lose heart. She wrote a business plan and applied for a loan to Qredits, an Almelo-based non-profit organization that helps new entrepreneurs with loans, mentoring and business development.

In 2016 Qredits was able to secure a €100 million loan from the European Investment Bank, the EU bank. Jorine’s application was successful and, soon after, she opened a restaurant in her hometown. "If my grandmother could have seen me, I'm sure she would have been so proud," she says.

Netherlands non-profit loans for The Living

The restaurant, which she called The Living, has been busy since its start in 2016. “At that time, I was doing everything on my own. It was very tough,” explains Jorine. Jorine, 30, has been so successful that she and her partner Bilal opened a second restaurant in Delft in 2018 and, recently, a third one in The Hague, both called Hummus.

All the dishes on her menus are vegetarian and the ingredients are organically grown. Everything from solar panels, food containers and cleaning products aim to burden the earth as little as possible.

Netherlands non-profit loans and the EU bank

With the EIB loan, Qredits is able to finance up to 7 500 Dutch small entrepreneurs and potentially create 10 000 jobs over the coming years. Jorine’s job is one of millions created across Europe with the support of the European Investment Bank, the EU bank. 

By 2021, investments signed by the EIB Group in 2017 alone are expected to have raised EU GDP by 1.1% and to have created 1.2 million jobs. Even in 2036, there will still be a 0.7% increase in EU GDP as result of the EIB's 2017 investments, as well as 650 000 extra jobs. Jobs like Jorine's.