Triodos launches €65m EU loan fund for social entrepreneurs in Europe
Social entrepreneurs in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and France can apply for loans from a new €65m pot of European money, announced last week.
The European Investment Fund and sustainable investor Triodos Bank signed an agreement on 12 April at the Euclid Summit 2018in the Netherlands. The deal gives Triodos Bank a total of €65m to make available in loans to 430 social entrepreneurs over the next five years with a reduced interest rate and lower collateral requirements.
The funding is provided under a social entrepreneurship guarantee agreement via the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation which means that more risky investees can be considered.
For Triodos Bank, social entrepreneurship presents the ultimate combination of addressing societal issues with the creativity and power of entrepreneurs
The European Investment Fund deputy chief executive, Roger Havenith, and Triodos Bank Netherlands managing director, Matthijs Bierman, signed the agreement in the presence of the president of the Euclid Network, Neven Marinovic in The Hague.
Mr Bierman said: “For Triodos Bank, social entrepreneurship presents the ultimate combination of addressing societal issues with the creativity and power of entrepreneurs.”
He added that the partnership with the European Investment Fund enabled Triodos to provide funding for social enterprises in the SME sector through its branches in the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium and its agency in France.
“This means we can empower more entrepreneurs to add value to society in their own way and accelerate the social transition we think is necessary,” he added.
Marianne Thyssen, the European Commissioner for employment and social affairs, said: “Thanks to EU funding, Triodos Bank will launch a new lending activity worth €65m to support 430 social entrepreneurs, many of whom face difficulties in accessing credit from traditional banking sources.”
Social entrepreneurs can apply via their local Triodos Bank branch.
Header photo (left to right): Mark Hillen, co-founder and director Social Enterprise NL; Matthis Bierman, managing director of Triodos Bank Netherlands; Ulla Engelmann, European Commission; Roger Havenith, EIF deputy chief executive.
The Euclid Summit 2018, run by the Euclid Network, took place on 11 and 12 April in The Hague. Pioneers Post was media partner to the event.