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The National Bank of Romania (NBR) authorised the operation of the first Romanian privately owned non-bank financial institution dedicated exclusively to social entrepreneurs

AFIN NBFI S.A. aims to offer loans to social economy operators in Romania. The institution will make a creditworthiness analysis taking into account both the financial viability of the business plan and the social impact indicators. AFIN will operate as a social enterprise, reinvesting at least 90% of its profits, and will also provide support through appropriate consultancy to social economy operators to become eligible for credit.

 

As of this year, the social economy market in Romania has a non-bank financial institution dedicated exclusively to social entrepreneurs. The National Bank of Romania (NBR) has authorised the registration of înscrierea AFIN NBFI S.A in the General Register of the NBR.

AFIN NBFI S.A. was created last year at the initiative of the consortium formed by ADV Romania, FEBEA - European Federation of Ethical and Alternative Banks and individuals with experience in the banking system and social economy. The institution was set up through a unique process of collective participation in the formation of the start-up share capital and currently has 170 founding shareholders, most of them social entrepreneurs.

Since its foundation, AFIN has established a social mission in its articles of association, being the first non-bank financial institution to operate as a social enterprise. The charter certifies AFIN's social obligations: to respect its social mission, to reinvest at least 90% of the organisation's profits to add value to the economic operators with a social impact that it will support, and to have a fair wage policy.

 

A unique financing model on the Romanian market

 

AFIN NBFI SA will respond to a pressing need in the market: to ensure access to finance for economic operators with social impact in Romania, who need resources to develop. AFIN will offer financial solutions to social economy organisations through flexible and accessible credit instruments (working capital loans, investment loans, bridging loans for co-financing European funds, etc.)

The uniqueness of this institution comes from the fact that it will be able to make a creditworthiness analysis taking into account both the economic and financial viability of the project and the social impact indicators specific to operators in this sector. At the same time, the project aims to provide expert advice to economic operators with social impact to develop their projects and become eligible for credit.

 

"We are convinced that this new institution, through the operational model we are implementing, will make a decisive contribution to removing funding barriers for this sector and creating the funding ecosystem that the Romanian social economy so badly needs. In our project we will also rely on another important pillar - Social Finance Association, the organisation that was at the basis of the foundation of AFIN, and through which we want to prepare economic operators for a performing lending behaviour and a sustainable development, so that, in time, they become eligible for the banking system", says Bogdan Merfea, co-founder of AFIN NBFI S.A. and social banking promoter.

According to the National Institute of Statistics (INS), there are around 205,000 social economy operators in Romania, with approximately 165,000 employees. Of these, 20,000 generate income of over €10,000 per year. According to the Social Economy Barometer, 20% want access to funding and more than 4,000 operators have encountered barriers in accessing funding. AFIN aims to lend to 500 entities in the first 5 years, through tailored and innovative products, and full or partial guarantee schemes.

CONTACT
phone: +40 740 82 34 34

email: contact@afin.org.ro
www.afin.org.ro