TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- E. Sun Bank was awarded the Asia Pacific Social Innovation Partnership Award (APSIPA) in Kaohsiung on May 11 for offering loans with low-interest rates to meet the financial needs of social enterprises in Taipei City.
The E. Sun loan product is specifically designed for social enterprises and offers a maximum amount of NT$3 million (about US$10,000) to each eligible social enterprise, at an interest rate of 1.6 percent, according to the bank.
The bank’s Individual Banking Division General Manager Alex Lee (李耀宇) said low interest rates like these are only offered to businesses or individuals with collateral. The loan product is offered by E. Sun Bank and the Taipei City Government’s Department of Economic Development.
According to the bank, any Taipei-based social enterprise with a recommendation from any one of four designated social enterprise incubators is eligible to apply for the loan. The four organizations are: B Current Impact Investment Inc, Taiwan NPO Self-Regulation Alliance, B Lab Taiwan, and Social Enterprise Insights.
Small and Medium Enterprise Credit Guarantee Fund of Taiwan (Taiwan SMEG) will provide credit guarantees to eligible loan applicants in order to obtain finance from E. Sun Bank, the bank said. The low-interest loans to social enterprises are the first such loan products in Taiwan and made possible because of the partnership between private institutions and government agencies, the bank said.
E. Sun Bank said the purpose of launching the loan product is to help social enterprises meet their financial needs so they can grow and implement business models that are beneficial to society and the environment.
Alex Lee said the bank plans to extend the offer of special loans to social enterprises in other municipalities if the loans go well in Taipei.
E. Sun Bank General Manager Joseph Huang (黃男州) said the bank works with Taipei City Government, Taiwan SMEG, and business incubators to provide social enterprises with a one-stop financial service that is designed to help them grow.
Taipei Deputy Mayor Teng Chia-chi (鄧家基) said social enterprises bring positive change to Taiwan’s overall environment, but if they aren’t properly financed, they will struggle to exist.
E. Sun Bank is committed to fulfilling its responsibility as a corporate citizen, and has participated in many activities to improve the country’s welfare. The bank said it is the first financial institution in the country to simultaneously introduce Green Bonds and the Equator Principles, and that it has issued more Green Bonds than any other bank in the country.
(E.Sun Bank photo)