The first impact assessment of Erste Group’s social banking activities across all of its CEE markets published today shows that over 2,500 starting entrepreneurs, 400 social organisations and 6,500 small farmers accessed its offering and contributed to the creation of almost 14,000 new jobs. Inspired by Erste’s origins as a social banking enterprise and developed at present with the support of ERSTE Foundation, Erste Group’s Social Banking fosters job creation and prosperity by addressing the needs of socially excluded groups with not just loans, but also sound money advice, financial literacy trainings, tailored products and business mentoring.
The first report shows that Social Banking supported people who otherwise had no or very poor access to the labour market to start their own micro business, such as a shop or a construction firm. The new entrepreneurs also gained the much-needed financial confidence and created almost 5,000 jobs in their communities. Besides business mentoring and e-learning, Erste Group’s Social Banking provided more than EUR 60 million worth of financing to such early stage entrepreneurs.
Working through its network of local banks and also in partnership with other organisations and NGOs, Erste Group’s Social banking also supported around 400 social organisations across the region, helping them to grow and deal more efficiently with some of the most challenging issues in our society, such as youth unemployment, social integration and poverty. As a result, more than 3,100 jobs were created and 6,100 jobs were preserved in the social sector. 82% of the organizations reported that they can better fulfil their social mission, reach more people and start new projects.The total financing amounted to EUR 40 million and consisted of working capital loans that were used to cope with late payments of subsidies or grants; bridge loans for pre-financing or co-financing for an EU/local government project; and investment loans to support expanding services and activities.
Furthermore, Erste Group’s microfinance entity good.bee Credit provided microcredits for 6,500 small entrepreneurs from rural and small urban areas in Romania. The subsidiary granted nearly 10,000 micro-loans mostly to farmers, amounting to more than EUR 70 million and resulting in 6,000 newly created jobs. 70% of the clients who registered managed to increase their household income and invest it back into business development but also in improving their living conditions.