European microcredit providers can now apply for technical assistance services under the Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI) programme. The European Commission has opened a new Call for Expression of Interest for EaSI Technical Assistance services with the goal of selecting microfinance providers interested in improving their operational capacity in order to disburse even more microcredits and microloans to vulnerable groups and micro-enterprises in Europe.
What is EaSI Technical Assistance?
It is the primary technical assistance programme for microcredit providers in the European Union (EU) and other eligible countries in Europe. The EaSI Technical Assistance programme offers a suite of professional services including institutional assessment or rating of the microcredit provider, as well as training and consulting services to strengthen institutional capacity and eliminate operational weaknesses. In addition, institutions can receive support for the implementation of the EU Code of Good Conduct standards, as well as participate in peer-to-peer trainings and study visits to facilitate the exchange of good practices in the European microfinance sector.
The technical assistance support services are performed by a consortium of service providers on behalf of the European Commission. Frankfurt School of Finance & Management is leading a Consortium with the Microfinance Centre and the European Microfinance Network to implement targeted capacity building and training services under EaSI Technical Assistance. The rating, assessment and evaluation services are provided by Microfinanza Rating Srl.
What is the objective of the Call?
The purpose of this Call is to identify microfinance institutions in need of technical assistance support and with a view to boost their institutional capacity in order to improve their operations, become sustainable and viable, and maximise their impact on micro and small enterprises. The aim of the Call is also to ensure a balanced geographical representation of the selected beneficiaries.
Who can apply?
The eligible institutions are microcredit providers such as Greenfield microfinance institutions, non-bank microfinance institutions, licensed banks, guarantee-granting entities, and a new addition in this Call – Fintechs providing microfinance. These institutions should be registered in and operating from the EU Member States, as well as the following additional countries: Albania, Iceland, the Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia and Turkey. Additional eligibility criteria are listed in the Call for EOI announcement.
How to apply?
If you are interested in applying, please visit the European Commission’s dedicated page for further information about the EOI documents and selection procedure, which you will find in the related documents section of the page. The template for expression of interest and the declaration on honour are available in Word format.
What is the deadline?
Eligible microfinance institutions can apply at any time, as this is an open-ended call for expressions of interest, with no deadline for applications. The European Commission, however, reserves the right to close the Call at any time, with 2-weeks prior notice to its closure. Beneficiaries will be selected at suitable intervals within the period of the Call and all expressions of interest will be processed chronologically, with the date of application receipt being the principal criterion.
We encourage all eligible microfinance institutions to express interest and for any questions advise you to contact the firstname.lastname@example.org email.
This initiative has received financial support from the European Union Programme for Employment and Social Innovation “EaSI” (2014-2020). For further information please consult: http://ec.europa.eu/social/easi