Dutch social impact investment platform Lendahand expands in Europe with MiFID licence.
Lendahand, the social crowdfunder which allows investors to lend to small businesses in emerging markets, has received its Europe-wide MiFID licence from The Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM). This means that investors across Europe can now invest in the platform’s micro-loans, where previously the platform was open only to investors in the Netherlands.
”With our MiFID license, we’re ready to scale up rapidly,” said CEO Peter Heijen (pictured above). “We can now operate on a European level reaching a cross-border market. More importantly, we strive for impact first and expect to generate around 10,000 new jobs in emerging economies and to provide access to energy to at least 40,000 households in mainly Sub-Saharan Africa by the end of 2017.”
Lendahand offers investors a “double return” of social impact and financial returns of between 3 and 6 per cent per annum. The platform seeks to address the dearth of SME funding in emerging markets, such as Colombia, the Phillipines and Ghana. The platform uses local partners to underwrite loans prior to their listing on the platform.
Lendahand has funded a little shy of €12m in loans to date, with 1,414 entrepreneurs funded, and 2,304 jobs created. With its MiFID licence in hand, Heijen says that the platform will now look to gauge the appetites of European investors, before deciding “which markets to focus on” going forwards.
“We’re well positioned to become the leading social investment crowdfunder worldwide,” said Heijen.
AltFi is returning to Amsterdam for its second annual Summit in the city. The inaugural event last year was a roaring success, with key figures from across Continental Europe's alternative finance and digital banking sectors highlighted. These included Jeroen Broekema, managing director of Funding Circle Netherlands, and Mieke van Engelen, head of innovative partnerships at ABN AMRO's standalone lending platform, New10.