EU definition of microcredit

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The European Commission adopted a new definition of microentreprises that came into use as of 1st January 2005. Enterprises will be considered as microentreprises if their headcount amounts to less than ten and their turnover (or balance sheet total) does not exceed €2 million.

Concerning microcredit, in the framework of the microcredit guarantee window in the Multi-Annual Programme or MAP, the EU Institutions defined microcredit as a loan below €25,000.

Documents available: Danuta Hübner, Commissioner for Regional Policy, speech at the Eurofi Conference in June 2006, on microcredit and more precisely on the JEREMIE programme

The EC recommendation C (2003)1422 of 6 May 2003 gives new thresholds to SME categories :

SME Category

Medium sized:

Headcount (unchanged) < 250
Turnover < €50 million
Balance Sheet Total < €43 million


Headcount < 50
Turnover < €10 million
Balance Sheet Total < €10 million

Micro :

Headcount < 10
Turnover <€2 million
Balance Sheet Total < €2 million

In 2005 this new SME definition replaced in Community law the Commission Recommendation 96/280/EC (OJ L 107 of 30 April 1996).