The first impact assessment of Erste Group’s social banking activities across all of its CEE markets published today shows that over 2,500 starting entrepreneurs, 400 social organisations and 6,500 small farmers accessed its offering and contributed to the creation of almost 14,000 new jobs. Inspired by Erste’s origins as a social banking enterprise and developed at present with the support of ERSTE Foundation, Erste Group’s Social Banking fosters job creation and prosperity by addressing the needs of socially excluded groups with not just loans, but also sound money advice, financial literacy trainings, tailored products and business mentoring.
“Social Banking, which is our flagship initiative for increasing social and financial inclusion across the CEE region, has been systematically rolled out to all of Erste Group’s core markets since 2016. We believe we can make a real difference for the people who were left behind during the transition to a market economy. Having access to business advice and start-up loans, over 2,500 people mostly living in rural areas and smaller cities managed to start their own business and employ other people from their local communities. More than a third of them had been economically inactive before. And the thing that we are most proud of is that these jobs were mostly created in areas with high unemployment and poverty, often ignored by large employers,” says Peter Surek, Head of Social Banking Development.