One of the Italian organizations supporting ME4Change in Milan is PerMicro.
Founded in 2007 in Torino (Italy), PerMicro is the first Italian institution in terms of number of granted microcredits and disbursed amount, and is one of the microfinance’s pioneers in Western Europe.
Since its origin, it has disbursed 20.128 microcredits and today PerMicro is present in 11 Italian regions with 15 branches and it counts 62 employees. The institution is very active in the national and international scene: it is one of the founders of Rete Italiana degli operatori di Microfinanza (RITMI), the Italian association of microfinance institutions; moreover, it is an active member of European Microfinance Network (EMN). In 2015, PerMicro was chosen among the six best microcredit institutes in Europe to be part of the guarantee fund from European Investment Fund (FEI) financed by the European Community (Employment and Social Innovation Programme).
The mission of PerMicro is creating employment and social inclusion through professional disbursement of credits and microcredits, financial education and services for starting-up and supporting enterprises, with the aim of reaching the complete sustainability of their activity.
PerMicro provides two main products:
- Business microcredit: for people who want to start or develop a microbusiness activity and have a good business idea and technical and entrepreneurial skills
- Personal credit for families: for people with financial emergencies involving home, health, work or educati.
Thus, addressing both professional people with a good entrepreneurial idea and people with primary financial needs who are excluded from traditional credit channels because of insufficient credit history or precarious working position.
Moreover, PerMicro collaborates with the Association MicroLab Onlus to offer to its entrepreneurs important auxiliary services, such as mentoring and monitoring to bussinesses. MicroLab is a non-profit association operating with the purpose of pursuing social solidarity aims and giving support to socially and economically disadvantaged people.
The Association now counts approximately 60 Volunteer Mentors.
“In my experience, PerMicro services helped me a lot when I was trying to start up my own business” – says Abul Kalam Azad, a young entrepreneur from Bangladesh – “I arrived in Milan in 2008 and nowadays, thanks to PerMicro, I manage my own fruit’s and vegetables’ market stall, selling my products in various districts of the city and I really love my job!”
“One year ago, when I was thinking to start up my own business, I felt a bit discouraged. I knew starting up would have been tough, especially to get access to credit. A friend of mine suggested me to find out PerMicro services and from that moment, my project became real!”
“My message for the Me4Changers? Well, I strongly suggest them to stay focused on their business goals: there are many obstacles and responsibilities, but there are also many mentoring services to support them!”