Oneplanetcrowd, a crowdlending platform, has received € 1 million in growth finance from the European Investment Fund to support social entrepreneurship. The funding from the EIF came via the EU’s Employment and Social Innovation Programme Capacity Building Investments window.
According to a statement by the European Commission (EC), the financing is a favorable loan with a term of eight years. To quote the EC:
“The required equity has been strengthened as all shareholders have converted their outstanding (convertible) loans into shares and existing crowd investors have bought additional certificates of shares from Oneplanetcrowd. Following the issue of these shares, Oneplanetcrowd is well positioned to finance its further growth. As a result of the conversion of loans, solvency increased significantly.”
EC Executive Vice-President, Valdis Dombrovskis, stated on April 9th:
“As well as traditional bank lending, Europe needs innovative forms of financing to meet the considerable liquidity needs of its startups and SMEs. Oneplanetcrowd brings together social enterprises in need of financial backing and investors interested in sustainable investment. I am pleased that the EU can support this platform.”
Coenraad de Vries, managing director of Oneplanetcrowd said the financing was indicative of a pragmatic effort by the EU to support the alternative finance sector which is in greater need during difficult times.
“In the current challenging times access to finance has taken on an even greater importance for the smallest companies in our economies. Apart from the healthcare emergency, one primary objective for the EIF is to help SMEs with the economic fallout of this crisis, in any way that we can,” added Alain Godard, Chief Executive of the EIF.
As a result of the financing, further investments will be made in the coming years in the quality of the services provided, according to the EC.
Under the European Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI), the European Commission supports microfinance and social entrepreneurship finance with an overall envelope of €193 million for the 2014-2020 period. The goal is to increase access to microfinance, i.e. loans of up to €25 000, in particular for vulnerable persons and micro-enterprises. In addition, the European Commission is also supporting social enterprises through investments of up to €500 000.