New opportunities for rural development financial instruments in Europe

Simplified rules and a broader remit for financial instruments were among the key topics presented during our ‘Fourth annual EU conference on EAFRD financial instruments for agriculture and rural development in 2014-2020’ that took place in Bulgaria from June 5 – 6. Over 200 delegates participated in the conference and these included managing authorities of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), financial intermediaries interested in using EAFRD financial instruments, experts from the European Commission and European Investment Bank Group, as well as a variety of other EAFRD stakeholders.

Microcredit providers meet in Venice

Capacity building workshops for EU microcredit providers (MCPs) were organised in June by fi‑compass using the European Commission's Employment and Social Innovation Programme's Technical Assistance (EaSI TA). MCPs from across the EU and elsewhere came together in Venice for these EaSI TA workshops as part of the European Microfinance Network's 14th annual conference.

EaSI TA workshop sessions provided an opportunity for the MCPs to share their experiences with peers and to learn more about how MCPs operate in different countries and sectors.

We spoke to some of the workshop participants about their roles in providing microcredit and how EaSI TA has helped their organisations.

First fi-compass microfinance workshop in Serbia

Our first fi-compass EaSI TA workshop in Serbia will be held next week on 14 March 2017 in Belgrade. Organised with close cooperation of AgroInvest (one of Serbia’s three non-bank microcredit institutions) this workshop is titled: 'Making it happen for small entrepreneurs – Microfinance!' and its objective centres on the explanation, organisation and promotion of microfinance opportunities for Serbia. Workshop timing coincides with crucial changes being considered in the country's microfinance regulatory framework.

Participant perspectives from the fi-compass ESF seminar in Rome

fi-compass organised a special advisory seminar for European Social Fund (ESF) managing authorities in Italy on 1 December 2016 and this article provides an overview of participant perceptions about topics covered during the seminar. Topics included information about opportunities for ESF financial instruments to work alongside the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) and also how managing authorities can become involved with establishing more financial instruments that draw on funding from Italy's ESF Operational Programmes.

New advisory services from fi-compass

The new 2016-2018 work programme has been launched by fi-compass. The new advisory services build on the achievements of the first fi-compass work programme, which include a successful series of capacity building events and the publication of many new learning resources about European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) financial instruments, as well as the continuation of the Employment and Social Innovation programme technical assistance (EaSI TA).