ReSt@rts – Reinforcing Med Microfinance Network System for Start-ups

The project
Access to finance is still a major barrier to business development in the Mediterranean.
This is especially true when it comes to young entrepreneurs who have to struggle far more than average to get adequate funding. ReSt @ rts intends to break down this entrepreneurial obstacle by supporting the so-called “non-bankable” subjects.

The project will extend the microfinance system developed in previous projects to new geographical areas and sectors and ensure that the main results of these projects are consolidated into new policies at the regional level.

Aimed at both entrepreneurs and microfinance providers, a market platform will be developed to bring together supply and demand in an easily accessible business environment. In this platform, crowdfunding will play a key role, as ReSt @ rts partners understand that the use of alternative financing is essential when traditional ways of financing fail. Thanks to ReSt @ rts, many aspiring entrepreneurs will have a new chance to finance their business ideas and will have access to a large Mediterranean network of cross-border investors.

Key information

Acronym: ReSt@rts
Full title: Reinforcing Med Microfinance Network System for Start-ups
Thematic objective: A.1 Business and SME development
Priorities: A.1.1 Start-ups and newly established businesses
Countries: Italy, Palestine, Tunisia, Lebanon, Greece, Cyprus
Budget: 1.106.559,76 €, EU contribution 995.903,78€

Help stimulate access to finance in the Mediterranean by expanding financing options,
encouraging the use of alternative finance and gathering supply and demand in a
transnational and digital market.

What will be improved?

In addition to replicating a comprehensive model of structural microfinance to support entrepreneurs and
to the funders, the project will have an impact on several levels. In the short term, new business ideas will be promoted and funded
facilitating the access of new products and services to the market and strengthening the entrepreneurial mindset of young Mediterranean people who might otherwise be discouraged when they see their ideas rejected over and over again. In the long run, new jobs will be created as a result of enhanced business ideas, and last but not least, the overall framework for access to credit and alternative microfinance in participating countries will be smarter and more effective than it is today.

Who will benefit from it?

– Young entrepreneurs and women usually regarded as “non-bankable
– Business angels
– Private and public financial institutions
– Local and regional authorities
Expected results
– 1 industrial microfinance study 2.0
– 1 association of microfinance providers created
– 1 microfinance manifesto for public authorities
– 1 training provided to microfinance providers
– 1 massive open online course (MOOC) for aspiring Mediterranean entrepreneurs
– Advisory support provided to entrepreneurs
– 1 digital market platform that will collect the demand and supply of microfinance

Contribution to policy-making
Rest @ rts’s main contribution to policy-making will be to reach and involve more stakeholders, linking the policy framework developed for crowdfunding with that developed for
business empowering of fragile target groups, such as young people and women. ReSt @ rts will apply this
model to the Mediterranean context, thus further improving the harmonization of the regulatory framework and mutual exchange. The European Crowdfunding Network “AISBL”, associated partner of the project, will have a crucial role in guiding the public authorities in the integration of the tools proposed by ReSt @ rts.