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20 July 2017

EUR 820 million for SMEs as EIF and ProCredit double support for innovative companies

20 July 2017 - The European Investment Fund (EIF) and ProCredit Group are providing an additional EUR 450 million to innovative small and medium-sized companies (SMEs), bringing a total of EUR 820 million to companies in eleven countries.

The EIF-backed financing is now available through ProCredit banks from Germany to Georgia and targets companies using new technologies and producing new products in one of the eleven 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. 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".

Borislav Kostadinov, Member of the Management Board of ProCredit General Partner AG (sole liable managing entity of ProCredit Holding AG & Co. KGaA) added: "The InnovFin initiative has definitely helped to modernise the SME sector in our countries of operation. Thanks to our Hausbank relationship with a large number of innovative SMEs, ProCredit banks have been in a position to finance innovation across a wide range of industries, especially in the manufacturing sector. Hence we are pleased that EIF and the ProCredit group have agreed to expand this successful programme."

Since the signing of the agreement by ProCredit Albania and the EIF in 2016, local SMEs in various industries, such as production and trade, have received more than EUR 15 million in financing. The extension of this collaboration will give Albanian SMEs working with ProCredit the opportunity to increase their investments in an innovative way at favorable conditions. These investments will enable these clients to improve the quality of their products and services. By doing so, they will increase their competitiveness in the market by investing in modernisation and business development.

About InnovFin SME Guarantee
InnovFin SME Guarantee provides guarantees and counter-guarantees on debt financing of between EUR 25,000 and EUR 7.5 million, in order to improve access to debt finance for innovative small and medium-sized enterprises and small midcaps (up to 499 employees). The InnovFin SME Guarantee is implemented by the European Investment Fund, and will be rolled out through financial intermediaries (banks and other financial institutions) in EU Member States and Associated Countries. Under the InnovFin SME Guarantee, financial intermediaries will be guaranteed by the EIF against a proportion of their losses incurred on the debt financing. InnovFin SME Guarantee is part of InnovFin - EU Finance for Innovators, a new range of EIB Group (including EIF and EIB) products to facilitate access to finance for innovative businesses. This transaction is supported with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments.