Questions you may ask
What is “microfinance”?
“Microfinance” refers to a variety of financial services, which are usually not provided by banks due to lack of commercial interest. The primary focus of “microfinance” is on supporting the economic development of very small entrepreneurs and low-income groups of the population. We also see it as a way of making financial services more accessible for everyone.
What are “social enterprises”?
A social enterprise uses a business approach, but is primarily driven by a social or environmental mission. It aims to achieve improvement on certain social issues through market-based strategies – this is how a social enterprise gets the funding for its operations. We like to think of ourselves as a social enterprise, both through our products (meant to support individual development and community improvement) and in our aspiration to promote social entrepreneurship in Central and Eastern Europe.
Are you a bank?
No, we are not a bank. But we are 60% owned by the Erste Group Bank AG, one of the leading financial groups in Central and Eastern Europe. Having such a strong parent and partner is a great asset. Still, we have the freedom and independence in what we are doing: providing micro-finance services for individual and social development.
Are you safe?
Being owned and backed by one of the largest foundations (ERSTE Foundation) and one of the strongest financial groups (Erste Group) in Central and Eastern Europe, we do not lose any sleep over this question. By the way, we are firmly convinced of the strength of our shareholders also in the current market environment.
Are you for profit?
Yes, we are for profit. This is the way to keep us going and growing. We want to be a sustainable venture. To the extent that we make any profits, we intend to reinvest those in new activities. In view of the fact that we are a start-up, it will take us a while before we get there.
Where do you work?
Our current geographic focus is on the markets in Central and Eastern Europe, where the Erste Group is also present.