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Brave Circle
Brave Circle
Sector: Microcredit, Post-emergency interventions
Country: Italy
Partner: Renzo Rosso, OTB Foundation
Beginning Year: 2012

In July 2012 Renzo Rosso, owner and founder of the Diesel brand, entrusted Etimos Foundation with € 5 million of his personal fortune to establish a fund called Brave circle. For the first time in Italy, solidarity is expressed in the form help from one entrepreneur to hi peers, in ways that leverage the entrepreneurial mindset itself and a will for reconstruction in which economics plays a key role.

The idea
Thanks to this gesture, we were able to launch a microcredit project in support of people affected by the May 2012 earthquake in Emilia, Lombardy and Veneto: small collateral free loans to households and small and micro enterprises which would otherwise have been excluded from the traditional banking system.

The project - managed by Microcredito per l’Italia, the Etimos network company in charge of financial inclusion in Italy - uses the funds available in a simple and transparent way, offering its own guarantees for accessing short, medium, and long term loans, with favourable terms relating to the absence of costs, delivery times and terms of repayment.
The funds, channeled through local banks participating in our project, are open to private households, micro and small enterprises (including startups and individual professionals), associations, and cooperatives. They are provided by all member banks without requesting further guarantees.

The agents of Microcredito per l’Italia, together with the volunteers and associations involved in the project, provide constant guidance, consisting of dialogue and technical advice throughout the credit process: from the preparation of the initial documentation to the relationship with banks during the acquisition and repayment of the loan. More information is available at the Microcredito per l’Italia website.

Results
During the first three years of operation, over 330 loans were granted for a total funding of over 7.7 million Euros. The beneficiaries, which are not required to provide any personal or financial guarantees, are private individuals and families (63 loans) but especially micro and small enterprises (270 loans). Among the latter, there is a significant presence of startups and forms of self-employment (over 25%), of businesses managed by women (over 30%) and by young people under 35 (over 20%).

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