The European Investment Fund (EIF) and UniCredit have agreed to increase the InnovFin SME guarantee aimed at improving access to finance for innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Central and Eastern Europe.
The overall portfolio for financial support has been doubled to EUR 1 billion, the official statement reads.
This new agreement will allow UniCredit to offer additional financing worth EUR 500m to innovative companies in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia.
The 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 to access finance.
The InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility provides guarantees and counter-guarantees on debt financing of between EUR 25,000 and EUR 7.5 million in order to improve access to loan finance for innovative small and medium-sized enterprises with up to 500 employees.