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March 9, 2010    

EU sets up micro-finance fund to help unemployed

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by David Masters
EU sets up micro-finance fund to help unemployed

Unemployed people across Europe will be given the opportunity to set up their own business with money from a new EU micro-loan fund.

Up to 45,000 budding entrepreneurs could be helped by the initiative over the next eight years.

The €100 million fund was announced this week by the European Union’s Employment and Social Affairs ministers.

Ministers said the fund is designed to help people who have lost their jobs during the financial crisis.

The European Microfinance Facility is expected to “leverage more than €500 million in cooperation with international financial institutions such as the European Investment Bank (EIB) Group,” ministers said.

Small businesses and micro-enterprises will be able to borrow up to €25,000 from the fund if they’re unable to get the money from traditional business banking services.

László Andor, EU Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs and Inclusion, said: “The Micro-finance Facility offers an alternative to those suffering from the effects of the crisis and will help create new jobs.”

He added that the initiative aims to “boost entrepreneurship and the social economy in Europe.”

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