© Zachi Evenor
© Zachi Evenor

Israel signs first InnovFin SME Guarantee

Israeli SMEs are to benefit from easier access to risk capital thanks to a new EU-backed loan guarantee facility under the Horizon 2020 programme.

The deal, signed today by the European Investment Fund with finance provider Bank Leumi, will allow the bank to enter into new loan agreements with SMEs and small midcaps for a total of US $100m (~€89m) over the next two years.

It marks the first InnovFin SME Guarantee to be signed in Israel, which has been associated to the EU framework programmes for research for the last 20 years.

“The InnovFin SME Guarantee deal signed today will open up new ways of funding for innovative companies in Israel. It is yet another example of how open innovation and being open to the world under Horizon 2020 benefits both the EU and its partners,” said Innovation Commissioner Carlos Moedas.

Bank Leumi CEO Rakefet Russak-Aminoach added: “Taking part in the European bank’s flagship programme for research and innovation is another step forward in our efforts to expand the Israeli funding of the industry. It will allow better financing terms for the Israeli high-tech community. It is only natural that the leading bank that is the most supportive of the Israeli high-tech industry is also the first bank to take part in this unique programme.”