First EIB loan to a social economy enterprise in Spain: ILUNION receives EUR 35 million under the Juncker Plan

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing ILUNION with EUR 35 million in financing with the objective of creating jobs for people with disabilities and investing in improving energy efficiency.   This is the first loan made by the EIB to a social economy enterprise in Spain and it receives the backing of the Investment Plan for Europe[1],[2] known as the ‘Juncker Plan’.

The agreement was signed in Brussels today by Vice-President of the EIB, Emma Navarro, and President of ILUNION, Alberto Durán, during a ceremony attended by Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, and President of the ONCE Group, Miguel Carballeda.

ILUNION is made up of enterprises from ONCE social Group, Spain’s largest employer of people with disabilities. The EIB funding under the Juncker Plan will provide the financing necessary to enable the group to implement its investment plan until 2021. These investments concern the renovation of the group’s chain of industrial laundrettes to incorporate more energy-efficient technologies, the construction of a new hotel in Spain and the renovation of existing hotels, and the development of a range of devices to improve the lives of persons with any type of disability. All of these measures share a single objective: to promote the employment of people with disabilities. The project will, in fact, make it possible to create 200 new permanent jobs plus a further 725 during the implementation phase.

During the signing ceremony held today in the EIB offices in Brussels, Vice-President of the European Commission, Jyrki Katainen said: “The project shows perfectly what the European Fund for Strategic Investments was created to support: it is highly innovative, promoting social inclusion, energy efficiency and job creation. ILUNION’s success shows us once more that doing good and running a successful business are perfectly compatible. The Commission has put forward a pillar of social rights and is committed to increasing social investment, and this project is the embodiment of this commitment. And we aim to do even more to support the social economy in the future through the InvestEU Programme.”

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