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European Progress Microfinance Facility (EPMF)

The European Union (EU) has adopted a new financial instrument for micro-enterprises. It enables microfinance to be granted to those who cannot obtain credit from the conventional banking system.


Decision No 283/2010/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 March 2010 establishing a European Progress Microfinance Facility for employment and social inclusion.


The new European Progress Microfinance * Facility (EPMF) aims to support the creation and development of small enterprises and self-employment in the European Union (EU).

This facility is aimed at persons encountering difficulties in accessing conventional credit. It applies to:

  • the unemployed, persons at risk of losing their jobs, the non-working population, persons facing the threat of social exclusion and vulnerable persons;
  • micro-enterprises *, especially those in the social economy or those which employ socially-excluded persons.

Finance is allocated to public and private microfinance providers from EU countries. The EPMF is implemented through:

  • guarantees and risk-sharing instruments;
  • equity instruments;
  • debt instruments;
  • support measures, such as communication activities, monitoring, control, audit and evaluating the implementation of the facility.

The EPMF budget is EUR 100 million for the period 2010-2013. It shall be implemented in close cooperation with the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Investment Fund (EIF) and international financial institutions.

Key terms
  • Microfinance: in the EU, microcredit is defined as financial loans under EUR 25 000;
  • Micro-enterprise: an enterprise employing less than 10 people. In the EU small or micro-enterprises represent 91 % of enterprises and 99 % of start-ups. A third of them are created by unemployed people.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Decision 283/2010/EU



OJ L 87 of 7.4.2010

Last updated: 01.06.2010

See also

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