Microfinance has no ethnicity

Partnership for financing and inclusion of Roma entrepreneurs

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Bucuresti, 14 March 2023

REDI ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SA and Patria Credit IFN S.A. announce the signing of a unique local partnership for the financing and inclusion of Roma entrepreneurs, mainly farmers, from small rural communities in the country. Through this partnership, businesses run by Roma citizens and local businesses employing Roma workers will be financed through the dedicated programme, „Microfinance has no ethnicity”.

According to the study „Roma îin 10 European countries” conducted by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) îin 2021:

  • Only two out of five Roma in Romania aged between 20 and 64 (41%) are employed or in paid work, compared to national statistics where the percentage is 71%.
  • Employment is much rarer among Roma women, with only 23% of Roma women in Romania aged 20-64 being employed in 2021, compared to 56% of Roma men in the same age category.
  • Every second Roma man in our country aged between 16 and 24 (59%) is unemployed or not in education or training. At national level the percentage is 15% (by 2020).
  • One out of four Romanian Roma over 16 years old (23%) felt discriminated against in their search for a job in the last 12 months prior to their study. The percentage is one of the lowest in the European Union, where the average is 33%, with a high of 81% in Portugal. On average, the number of Romanian Roma facing discrimination when looking for a job has doubled since 2016 (from 10%).

While there are no official studies or statistics on local Roma entrepreneurs, representatives of REDI ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SA claim that „there is a diverse community of Roma entrepreneurs who îand operate in a variety of fields, from agricultural farms to services and retail. Many of them face difficulties în finding the resources and support they need to grow their businesses.”

In the context of the signed partnership, Lucian Dumbrăvieanu, member în the Board of Directors of REDI said:We are înc;n confident that through this partnership we will support the development of farmers and small entrepreneurs in Roma communities in Romania through the provision of finance and financial advice.

According to the study, there is an important concern at EU level to reduce the Roma employment gap by at least half and Member States need to ensure that at least 60% of Roma will be in paid work by 2030, compared to an average of only 43% by 2021. The Roma gender gap must also be reduced by at least half to ensure that at least 45% of Roma women will be in paid work by 2030, compared to just 28% in 2021.

As these percentages increase, this will implicitly ensure greater social and economic inclusion, to which the financial inclusion of Roma people and entrepreneurs will make a major contribution.

„În Patria Credit, the financial, economic and social inclusion of members of rural communities takes into account our desire to stimulate the small local economy, regardless of the ethnicity of the entrepreneurs. We have been present for many years in rural areas and finance small and very small farms, including those of Roma communities, and the partnership with REDI supports our actions and Patria's mission to contribute to the development and prosperity of rural communities in our area," said Raluca Andreica, CEO of Patria Credit.

The loans that can be accessed by agricultural producers and small Roma entrepreneurs through the Patria Credit program are worth up to 120,000 lei, are unsecured, are granted for a period of up to 5 years, have a flexible repayment, îin equal, seasonal or personalized installments, with the possibility of using the money for investments, financing current activity and mixed-use projects.

Moreover, Patria Credit will employ a Roma representative who will facilitate and develop the working relationship with Roma entrepreneurs or those who employ Roma.


The mission of REDI ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SA is to improve access to finance for Roma entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs active in Roma communities in Romania, Bulgaria, Northern Macedonia and Serbia. În established în Luxembourg în 2019, REDI ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SA is the first investment vehicle with a specific focus on Roma entrepreneurs and an investment capacity of €5 million for providing îmloans and risk sharing with financial intermediaries.

About Patria Credit IFN

Patria Credit IFN SA is a non-bank financial institution (NFI) that supports the efforts of small farmers and entrepreneurs and their positive impact on rural communities. Specializing îin farmer financing, Patria Credit is a member of European Microfinance Network (EMN) and Microfinance Centre (MFC) and is the first non-bank financial institution dedicated to microfinance in Romania, with almost 20 years of experience and more than 18,000 clients financed. Patria Credit's history began in 1996, initially as a program of World Vision, later evolving into a foundation and then into an NFI. Today, Patria Credit IFN's activity is recognized by the European Code of Good Conduct initiated by the Directorate for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission, for the quality and impact of the microfinance activity carried out in Romania. Part of Patria Bank Group, Patria Credit IFN is involved in projects supporting agriculture, rural development and supporting the transition of small farmers towards sustainable agriculture (Intelligent Farm Programme),