The European Investment Fund (EIF) has signed a guarantee agreement with REDI Economic Development S.A. (REDI) that will make €4.65 million available to enhance access to finance for entrepreneurs operating in Roma communities in Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and North Macedonia. This initiative, backed by the European Union and provided under the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI), will have a strong impact on Roma communities, ensuring financing for more than 300 small businesses and the creation of at least 1,000 jobs. The funds will be available to microenterprises active in marginalised Roma communities, who will be able to take out loans of up to €25,000. On top of financial support, REDI will also provide technical assistance to entrepreneurs to support outreach to these Roma communities and understand their specific business development needs. This is the first EU financial instrument specifically aimed at Roma communities, ensuring inclusive employment opportunities and the development of specific financial products and services for this group. Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, said: “The EU is a union of equality: it actively promotes the social and economic inclusion of people who are marginalised in our societies. Principle three of the European Pillar of Social Rights is the right to equal opportunities, which is an essential element of a social market economy. The EU-funded EaSI programme will help address persisting discrimination in the European Union, and allow entrepreneurs from marginalised Roma communities to fulfil their business ambitions.” The EIF press release is available here.
- Publication date
- 12 April 2022
- Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations