European Foundation
for the Improvement of
Living and Working Conditions

The tripartite EU agency providing knowledge to assist
in the development of better social, employment and
work-related policies

EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level policy measures

Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure BG-2020-16/637 Updated – measures in Bulgaria

COVID-19: Loans to microenterprises

КОВИД -19: Кредити за микро предприятия

Country Bulgaria , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 14 April 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Access to finance
Author Tsetomila Sabcheva and Luboslav Kostov (Citub)
Measure added 15 April 2020 (updated 18 April 2023)

Background information

The JOBS microfinance institution, part of the Bulgarian Development Bank Group, has announced a microbusiness loan with 10% interest for companies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It allows young companies to be able to finance themselves with a working loan to retain staff if there are other reasons not to take advantage of the 60:40 measure.

The bank considers a possibility to make the credits interest-free over the period of the coronavirus crisis.

The portfolio guarantee applied by the Fund may also be used after the end of the period of emergency and, according to the Fund, is a suitable product for financial recovery at a time when banks would again be uncertain about lending to the business.

Content of measure

The Fund of the Bulgarian Development Bank will provide banks with guarantees worth of BGN 170 million (approx. €85 million), and expects them to provide loans of up to BGN 850 million (€425 million), mainly for small and medium-sized enterprises, in the next one year. The Microcredit Fund tool is aimed at small companies - the so-called micro-enterprises, as well as companies that have just started their business (to have up to three years of business history at the moment, with possible expansion - up to five years).

The idea is to enable banks to support this vulnerable group of start-ups that may have started a small family business with loans up to BGN 50,000 (€25,000). This will support their investment plans for the crisis and working capital so that they can continue their operations.

This tool is aimed at a target group of recipients who generally do not have easy access or have no access to bank financing at all - companies with no credit history.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

21 February 2023

According to the Integrated Information portal , the measure is now targeting micro and small companies, and includes grants of between BGN 3,000 and BGN 10,000 for micro and small enterprises. The total budget is BGN 173 million. The beneficiaries are micro- and small-enterprises with up to 50 employees, registered before 01 July 2019, from all economic sectors (except those covered by the Rural Development Programme), which have suffered a decline of at least 20% in their turnover for the month of April 2020 compared to the average monthly turnover in 2019, with a minimum turnover of the applicants for 2019 - BGN 30,000. According to the available official information, the measure seems to be open ended.

Use of measure

As of 17 December 2020, financial agreements have been signed with 8 banks with a total amount of portfolio guarantees of BGN 649,000,000. The loans confirmed by BDB for financing as of 18 December 2020 are over 1,220 with a total amount of BGN 152,089,070.

The progress of the program for the last 14 days has been submitted by the commercial banks new data shows nearly 160 loans approved for financing, for over BGN 15,000,000.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers One person or microenterprises
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Company / Companies
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Unknown Consulted
Form Not applicable Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown



Views and reactions

Employers' organisations actively participated in the debate on supporting small and medium-sized businesses.


  • 06 April 2020: ББР стартира нови програми в подкрепа на бизнеса, засегнат от COVID-19 (
  • 24 April 2020: BDB's new microbusiness loan is 10% interest (
  • 18 December 2020: Напредък по антикризисните икономически мерки изпълнявани от Министерството на икономиката за преодоляване на негативните ефекти от пандемията върху българската икономик (
  • 12 January 2021: BBB approved loans for over BGN 268 million under both anti-crisis programs (


Eurofound (2020), COVID-19: Loans to microenterprises, measure BG-2020-16/637 (measures in Bulgaria), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


Eurofound publications based on EU PolicyWatch

30 January 2023


Measures to lessen the impact of the inflation and energy crisis on citizens

Governments across the EU continue to implement policies to support citizens and businesses in the face of rising food and energy prices caused by the COVID-19 crisis and intensified by the war in Ukraine. This article summarises the policy responses as reported in Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch database from January to September 2022.


12 September 2022


First responses to cushion the impact of inflation on citizens

Although the worldwide pandemic situation had already disrupted supply chains and triggered increases in energy and food prices in 2021, the situation deteriorated in 2022 with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


12 September 2022


Policies to support EU companies affected by the war in Ukraine

This article summarises the first policy responses that governments across the EU have started to implement to support companies affected by the rising prices, and those with commercial ties to Ukraine, Russia or Belarus.


5 July 2022


Policies to support refugees from Ukraine

This article summarises the first policy responses of EU Member States, including those of the social partners and other civil society actors, enabling refugees to exercise their rights under the Temporary Protection Directive.


Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.