Slovenia: Microcredit Available for Social Enterprises

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Mar 2016
Slovenia, March, 22 2016 - Slovenia has launched a microcredit scheme for social enterprises in a bid to kick-start the underdeveloped sector. The incentives should "sow the seeds of development", Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek said on Monday.

The state-owned Enterprise Fund issued an open call on 11 March for loans of EUR 1,000-25,000 for social enterprises with fewer than 250 employees and an annual turnover below EUR 50m.

EUR 4m is available under the scheme, with the loans intended to promote business activities focused on the activation of underprivileged and vulnerable groups on the labour market.

Pocivalšek said the scheme showed the government's attitude to this type of enterprises was changing. This is the first time such companies can quickly access such financial sources, he said.

The overarching aim is to promote the sector, which generates 7% of GDP in the EU but only 1% in Slovenia. Similarly, it accounts for 6.5% of jobs in the EU but only 0.7% in Slovenia, Economy Ministry data show.

Tadej Slapnik, a state secretary at the prime minister's office whose brief included social entrepreneurship, said the government would adopt additional measures in the coming years to boost the sector. The focus will be on the development of various types of cooperatives.

There are currently 130 social enterprises registered in Slovenia. Slapnik expects that the incentives will increase their number and the number of jobs in the sector.

The Enterprise Fund's open call ends in October. Through the end of March the fund and the ministry plan a series of workshops across the country to present the scheme to potential applicants.



 

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