News

The Fund of Funds launched a procedure for the selection of financial intermediaries to implement the Risk-Sharing Micro-Finance Facility

Public funds amounting to BGN 9 million are targeted at start-ups and social enterprises

27.05.2021

The Fund of Funds launched a third procurement procedure for the selection of financial intermediaries to implement the Risk-Sharing Micro Lending financial instrument. The resources are provided under the Operational Programme for Human Resources Development (OPHRD) for the period 2014—2020 which is co-financed from the European Social Fund. Its total budget of BGN 9 million is allocated among three lots, with financing resources amounting to BGN 1 million, BGN 2 million and BGN 6 million, respectively.

This financial instrument aims to improve access to financing for start-ups, including those owned by persons from certain vulnerable groups (unemployed for longer than 6 months, young people aged up to 29 and people with disabilities) and social enterprises. The funds will be made available in the form of microloans ranging from BGN 5 000 to BGN 48 895 or their EUR equivalent. The repayment term is up to 10 years, with a grace period of up to 2 years for the loan principal.

The instrument will leverage additional private capital with the aim to implement public policies concerning the labour market. In this new procurement procedure, the scope of final recipients has been extended and enterprises registered up to 5 years before the application date are now also eligible. The additional relaxation of terms is aimed at mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

The maximum financing available from the Fund of Funds is up to 90 % of the size of each individual loan. Financial intermediaries are expected to provide the remaining 10 %. The FoF financing is interest-free, while the co-financing from the intermediary comes accrues market interest. Thus the final recipients will be charged a weighted average interest rate that is much more favourable than the market rate.

The shared-risk microloans are designed to finance acquisitions of tangible and non-tangible assets; working capital needs relating to business development or scale-up of the enterprise or the self-employed person; development and up-skilling of the micro company’s employees or, in the case of a self-employed person, the entrepreneur.

For further information and answers to your questions about the launched procurement procedure, please contact the Fund of Funds team by e-mail at office@fmfib.bg.