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Ponta Delgada ,  April 21, 2016

Success of microcredit shows there are ideas and entrepreneurial spirit in the Azores, says Sérgio Ávila

The Vice-President of the Government highlighted in Ponta Delgada the success of the Support Scheme for Bank Microcredit in the Azores, which has resulted in bank loans totalling more than one million Euros for the creation of small companies and, consequently, of more jobs.
Sérgio Ávila spoke at the opening session of the seminar "10 Years of Microcredit in the Azores." He pointed out that this measure, implemented "in close cooperation" with the Regional Government with companies, financial institutions and other social partners, falls within an "ambitious policy of encouraging private investment” developed by the Government.
"We have pursued this policy not only through the implementation of an appropriate set of incentives, but also through the creation of concrete and structural measures to support the private sector. They had important repercussions in terms of minimising the effects of the external context in recent years and I am sure they are important tools for the economic development of the region," said the government official.
For the Vice President, the results have been positive, as evidenced by the four percent growth of the Economic Activity Indicator recorded in each of the last four months. The Region has been following a "recovery path already registered in 2015 and whose figures were higher than the previous two years."
In his speech, Sérgio Ávila stressed that the Azorean Agenda for Employment Creation and Business Competitiveness "directly benefited 35,717 people, supported 2,909 companies, generated 362 new companies and created 4,516 new jobs in the Region." The government official restated that the Support Scheme for Bank Microcredit also plays an important role in job creation.
Sérgio Ávila mentioned the improvements introduced to this scheme, namely the increase of the guarantee given to loans granted by banks from 25 to 75 percent, pointing out that it "has contributed to a growing number of applications approved by banks."
"I can even add that 67 percent of the projects submitted were approved in the last four years, also as a result of this amendment was introduced," the government official said, stressing that "it was possible to create small businesses with capacity to generate jobs and wealth" as well as to support micro companies already existing with up to three employees and turnover up to 250 thousand Euros.
"This evidences that are ideas and entrepreneurial spirit in the Azores and that initiatives - properly monitored and encouraged as we have been doing - resulted in the fact entrepreneurs were able to create their own jobs," stressed the government official.
Sérgio Ávila stated that "the Government relies on these tools as well as on all those in force to further promote the affirmation of the Azores in the national and European context as a region where we work with our will and competence in building an increasingly promising future."


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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