What lessons can countries learn from Spain's experience with microfinance and self-employment?
This country report for Spain on "The microfinance and self-employment environment for the socially excluded" presents the following findings:
Unemployment is the biggest category under people at risk;
Social exclusion is a gender problem;
There are large regional differences in Spain in relation to poverty;
Immigration into the country is a new phenomenon for Spain;
There are an increasing number of young people under the homeless category.
The report examines the following aspects of microfinance in Spain:
The entrepreneurial context;
Policy for micro-enterprises;
The "welfare bridge";
Legal framework for microfinance providers;
Financial bridge for the socially excluded;
Funding for microcredit providers.
The report states that the environment in Spain for microfinance and self-employment has improved in terms of culture, policy, organizations and institutions. It concludes by presenting the following lessons that other European countries can learn from Spain:
Bridging the social, employment and financial systems in such a way that there is a "one-stop-shop" for those wanting to be self-employed.
An integrated approach to self employment and microfinance for the socially excluded in terms of the policy and legal framework.