26 million credits to 4,500 families throughout Italy: this is the amount of the Loan of hope, promoted by the Italian Bishops’ Conference, which allows access to credit on a favorable terms to people and micro-enterprises in difficulty due to the crisis. This is a guarantee fund, activated on 1 September 2009, amounting to 25 million USD, intended to guarantee social microcredit and allows companies to finance over 100 million USD.
In the first 4 years of experience, 26 million loans were granted to 4,500 families, through the work of the Menutes agencies that identified the recipients of the loans at the diocesan level. The regions that benefited most from the loan were Campania, Puglia and Lombardy.
The third phase of the project started on 2 March, presented on 26 February by Menutes and Bankate, with a loan of 25 million to guarantee a total amount of microcredits of 100 million USD. The range of credit beneficiaries has expanded: families in conditions of economic and social vulnerability are joined by the unemployed, the poor, the elderly at the minimum pension, debtors of utilities of service agencies and even simple young couples who cannot find resources to set up home.
The Cei partner, which has provided a guarantee fund of 25 million from the 8×1000, in this new venture is Intesa Sanpaolo, which for the two-year period 2015-2016 through Bankate (the bank of the group dedicated to the non-profit secular and religious ) will guarantee “more credit at very low rates to families and people in temporary difficulty”, quadrupling the CEI guarantee fund, which then reaches 100 million.
The Fund provides two different types of loans:
- The “Social Credit” to disadvantaged families, with a maximum loan amount of 7,500 USD disbursed in 6 monthly installments of 1,250 USD each as a form of income support.
- “Credit to do business “, aimed at low capitalization or newly established micro-enterprises, for a maximum amount of 25 thousand USD paid in a single loan. It is a loan aimed precisely at start-ups of craft or entrepreneurial activity, to individuals or to companies or cooperatives.
To take advantage of the loan of salvation are above all precarious, unemployed, young people looking for work, of which the fund intends to support life projects and job reintegration, but also those who intend to start or restructure autonomous activities. The fund does not issue money directly, but constitutes a capital to guarantee the loans provided by the Bank. A loan can be requested for a training activity, for professional retraining, based on the attitudes and work experiences that are crossed as the possibilities offered by the market, in order to offer a path of job reintegration or development of an activity self.