The EIB Group has established a high-volume, short-term pan-European Guarantee Fund aimed at supporting SMEs, and MFIs are encouraged to apply.
Responding to a mandate given by the Eurogroup and using funding by EU Member States, the EIB has launched a €25 billion fund to support SME liquidity during the crisis. The aim of this fund is much wider than inclusive finance, but microfinance practitioners are definitely part of the target beneficiaries.
To bring this fund to market, the EIF invites financial intermediaries like MFIs to submit an expression of interest before October 2021. In terms of specific features, the most interesting part are probably the capped guarantees, which have a guarantee rate up to 70%, with a cap rate maximum of 30% and a guarantee coverage of up to 15 years.
While mostly MFIs with agreements under the current EaSI Guarantees schemes are likely to be prioritized, it is hoped that this guarantee instrument may be able to serve as a partial bridge between the outgoing EaSI programme, and whatever will come afterwards under InvestEU.
MFIs who would like to explore the possibility of benefiting from a guarantee under this programme are encouraged to contact EMN (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss their eligibility and be guided into next steps. The formal documentation and full background information from the EGF can be found on the EIF website.