The European Investment Fund (EIF) and ProCredit Group are providing an additional €450m to innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), bringing a total of €820m to companies in 11 countries.
The financing is available through ProCredit banks and targets companies that use new technologies for new products in one of the 11 countries where the facility is available – Germany, Albania, Serbia, FYROM, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia.
To date, agreements with ProCredit have already supported more than 1,000 innovative SMEs 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.
EIF chief executive Pier Luigi Gilibert said: “We are delighted that InnovFin SME guarantee agreements with the ProCredit banks are yielding such positive results.
“ProCredit’s well-established distribution network, combined with its SME lending expertise, ensures that EC-backed loans can be rapidly deployed across the 11 territories. These transactions will help companies to access this EU-backed finance in order to drive forward an innovation agenda across Europe.”
European Commission Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness Jyrki Katainen said: “The commission recognises that small businesses help drive jobs and growth in Europe.
“Facilitating access to the finance they need to innovate, expand and create jobs is one of the most effective ways by which the EU supports SMEs across Europe.
“I wish those set to benefit from this financing every success as they take their next steps.”