Small firms in Lithuania get microfinance boost

Vilnius Factoring, a Lithuanian private lending company, has signed a cooperation agreement with the European Investment Fund (EIF) to issue microloans of up to 25,000 euros. Micro-enterprises and farmers in Lithuania will be able to benefit from non-banking business funding opportunities under the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI). Vilnius Factoring will issue the microloans up to a total of 10 million euros with a guarantee from the EIF.

The agreement is backed by the Juncker Plan’s European Fund for Strategic Investments, which allows the European Investment Bank Group to invest in higher-risk operations.

The aim of the EaSI programme is to provide micro businesses with better access to finance. More specifically, conditions to gain access to such financing are less stringent than access to finance from traditional banking sources, also thanks to significantly lower collateral requirements. The funds can be invested in either the company’s working capital or its business development.

“Having operated in Lithuania for one year, we noticed an obvious need for flexible financing instruments among micro businesses,” said Renato La Fianza, CEO of Vilnius Factoring.

Pier Luigi Gilibert, chief executive of the European Investment Fund, said: “We’re happy to be able to support such a young company with its growth plans, helping it to scale up its micro lending. Access to finance is an issue around Europe and the presence of initiatives like this one significantly help to alleviate the situation.”

Vilnius Factoring is a non-banking financing solutions company that combines foreign investment with the expertise of local professionals. The company offers solutions to finance working capital and business development.