MICROFINANCE MARKET STUDY IN THE NETHERLANDS
On behalf of the European Microfinance Network for the European Investment Fund within the framework of JEREMIE
SEON Foundation Stationslaan 4 3701 EP Zeist, The Netherlands Tel: +31 (0)30 697 4232 Fax: +31 (0)30 697 4234 firstname.lastname@example.org Triodos Facet 2008 - www.seon.nl Text styles for reports and tenders European Microfinance Network 4 Bd Poissonnière 75 009 Paris, France Tél: +33 (0)1 56 03 59 70 Fax: +33 (0)1 56 03 59 77 www.european-microfinance.org 1
Microfinance is not new in the Netherlands and neither are micro credit and savings. Already in the beginning of the past century local cooperative savings and credit initiatives were launched and some have eventually become the basis of what is now one of the few triple AAA banks in the world. Still it is surprising to note how little attention has been given to microfinance as an instrument to promote entrepreneurship and facilitate social inclusion in the past decades. The acceptance of it and the understanding of the possibilities however have been low, even more surprisingly since so many Dutch professionals have been engaged in micro credit and microfinance programmes in developing countries. Up to now activities and publicity focused on Dutch involvement in developing countries without taking note of some major government programmes in the Netherlands that have already been in existence for quite some time and that can be categorised as microfinance programmes. Lately a growing number of private foundations and other nongovernmental organisations have started microfinance projects in the Netherlands often supported with EU co-financing (mainly ESF, Equal) and more often with local funding (public and sometimes private). In 2007 Microfinance has gained a real place on the agenda of politicians, policy makers and practitioners. A special advisory “Council on Microfinance in the Netherlands” was established by the Ministry of...