The latest case study published by fi-compass presents a First Loss Portfolio Guarantee (FLPG) instrument implemented in Malta from 2011 to 2015 for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). These types of businesses play a predominant role in the Maltese economy, with SMEs accounting for 99.8% of companies and 79% of jobs in the country. Access to credit for SMEs had been difficult in the recent past.
Fi-compass provides advisory services on financial instruments funded by European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). A key target group for many ESIF financial instruments is small and medium size enterprises (SMEs). These comprise a diverse range of businesses with differing financing profiles and they include enterprises that are eligible for support from each of the ESI Funds.
Microfinance and the social economy were discussed at a fi-compass EaSI TA workshop on 2 March in Athens. The workshop built on existing Greek interests with microfinance and included a focus on the regulatory framework.
Europe's first EAFRD financial instrument in 2014-2020 has now been launched by Estonia's Ministry of Rural Affairs. Estonia, after completing the legally required ex-ante assessment, has given a green light for two Loan products of total volume of EUR 30.1 million under its Rural Development Programme for 2014-2020.
As part of the ongoing actions to ensure that fi-compass remains aligned with stakeholders’ needs, a user survey was carried out at the end of 2015. It highlighted that advice about financial instruments for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) is a top priority for many fi-compass stakeholders.
New Guidance note about interest and other gains generated by European Structural & Investment Funds support paid to financial instrument (Article 43 Common Provisions Regulation)
A new European Commission Guidance note has been published to clarify how Member States should deal with interest or other gains generated from the investment of European Structural & Investment (ESI) Funds contributions to financial instruments. In the context of ESI Funds, the term 'treasury management' is used in relation to Article 43 of the Common Provisions Regulation which provides for investing the ESI Funds contribution to a financial instrument following the principles of sound financial management, and regulates the use of interest and other gains generated thereto.
Business support for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) remains a common focus for the Member States’ financial instruments. Success factors for these instruments include the importance of managing authorities understanding SMEs financing requirements. Success is also aided when SMEs understand the support available from manging authorities.
Flagship fi-compass events spotlight opportunities for financial instruments in the European Social Fund
Two high level events were organised by fi-compass earlier this month to raise awareness about opportunities for financial instruments in the European Social Fund (ESF). Both events were based in Brussels with a conference on ‘Financial Instruments under the European Social Fund 2014-2020’ taking place on 2 February, which was followed the next day by the ‘Microfinance under the European Social Fund 2014-2020’ workshop.
Targeted coaching for the relevant Member State managing authorities on how best to use financial instrument possibilities available under EU Rural Development funding (EAFRD) has now been launched.
Hungary and UK host fi-compass workshops for microcredit providers
Two new workshops are being organised under the Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI) Programme’s Technical Assistance from fi-compass. The first workshop will focus on the Code of Good Conduct (CoGC) for Microcredit Provision and will take place in Manchester, United Kingdom, on 8 March 2016.