The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Erste Banka a.d. Novi Sad have signed an agreement on the InnovFin guarantee, based on which Erste Bank will lend EUR 70 million under favorable conditions to innovative companies in Serbia. Credits are meant for companies with up to 499 employees which need investment credits and credits for working assets to the end of development and upgrade of processes, products and services.
Credits in dinars or euros range from EUR 25,000 to EUR 7.5 million and the repayment periods are one to ten years.
– This guarantee enables lending at reduced interest rates and with reduced requirements regarding securities for those who invest in production or development of innovative products, processes and services that could pose a certain risk. Fast developing companies, that is, those whose workforce or income have increased in the past three years, as well as companies with a large innovative potential or those based on research and innovation, are also eligible – explains Nikola Stamenkovic, the head of the sector for operations with legal entities at Erste Bank.
The InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility is a means through which the EIF provides guarantees and counter-guarantees for debt financing to chosen financial mediators in order to enhance the access to finance for companies dealing in research and innovation. Thanks to the facility, qualified local partners can secure the financing of debts at more affordable conditions for innovative small, medium and large enterprises with up to 499 employees.
This guarantee facility is part of the InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators program launched by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Commission (EC) under Horizon 2020.