The European Investment Bank (EIB) and ProCredit Group are providing €800 million to innovative small and medium-sized companies (SMEs), under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the core element of the Investment Plan for Europe, or “Juncker Plan”, and the InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility.
Financing innovative SMEs
The EIF-backed financing is now available through ProCredit banks in South Eastern and Eastern Europe and targets companies using new technologies and producing new products in one of the
eleven countries where the facility is available (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Moldova, the Republic of North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine). To date, agreements with ProCredit have already supported around 2,000 innovative SMEs, predominantly in the sectors Manufacturing and Wholesale and Retail Trade, and many more will be financed in the coming years.
These agreements were signed under the European Commission’s InnovFin initiative, backed by the EU’s research and innovation programme Horizon 2020. The InnovFin initiative enables participating banks to provide loans to innovative companies with the support of a guarantee provided by the EIF. The agreements signed in EU Member State countries were made possible by the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). The EFSI is the central pillar of the European Commission’s Investment Plan for Europe, also known as the “Juncker Plan”
The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank Group. Its central mission is to support Europe’s micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them access finance. EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment.