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.

Rural development loans, guarantees and equity under the spotlight in Estonia

Estonia, currently holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU, hosted our sixth EAFRD fi‑compass macro‑regional conference on financial instruments for agriculture and rural businesses, supported by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). In total, 85 participants from 17 different Member States attended the conference on 12 July 2017 in Tallinn.

European Social Fund financial instruments supporting self-employment and entrepreneurship

Vienna saw the first thematic fi‑compass workshop on European Social Fund (ESF) financial instruments supporting self‑employment and entrepreneurship under Thematic Objective 8. This full day workshop was attended by representatives from ESF managing authorities, financial intermediaries, and other stakeholders from across the EU.

fi-compass seminar showcases financial instruments supporting urban and rural business investments

On 14 March a fi-compass seminar took place in Brussels focused on financial instruments under Thematic Objective 3 (TO3) ‘Enhancing the competitiveness of small and medium–sized enterprises (SMEs)’. This event was organised to promote knowledge sharing between representatives of managing authorities and intermediate bodies about their experiences with designing, setting up and implementing financial instruments which support SME competitiveness.

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.

Microcredit for credit guarantee institutions in Italy: fi-compass EaSI TA workshop

The first fi-compass workshop for 2017 under the Employment and Social Innovation programme's Technical Assistance service for microfinance (EaSI TA) will take place in Milan next week on Wednesday January 18th. This fi-compass EaSI TA workshop is focused on helping credit guarantee institutions and other financial intermediaries to become microcredit providers. Special attention will be paid by increasing participants' understanding about accessing technical and financial services provided by the European Investment Fund (EIF) and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Outreach services from fi-compass: Social Platform and European Microfinance Network seminars

Outreach services from fi-compass include our experts participating at external events to present information about financial instruments that use the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). Recent examples of these outreach services includes fi-compass contributions during the Committee of the Regions' European Week of Regions and Cities and Mass Open Online Course (MOOC) about the EU budget and funding for regions and cities. European Social Fund (ESF) stakeholders have also benefited from such fi-compass outreach advice during two events focused on social finance, and entrepreneurship.

Helping Member States and regions to enhance the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises

In the 2014-2020 programming period, the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) are supporting 11 thematic objectives and financial instruments can be used in all of them. fi-compass provides a range of learning resources for managing authorities and other stakeholders involved in financial instruments' implementation that are targeted at specific thematic objectives.

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.