The European Investment Fund (EIF) and the ProCredit Group signed in Salonica on May 9 an agreement that will provide a total of EUR 20 mln in loans to innovative Greek small and medium enterprises (SMEs) over the next two years through InnovFin - an EU financial fund for innovators.
The possibility of using guarantees provided by the EIF is advantageous to the bank as they enable it to offer additional loans under favourable terms.
It is the second agreement between the two institutions as part of the InnovFin fund. The first agreement - on funding for small and medium enterprises in seven southeast European countries including Serbia - was signed early this year. It enables the ProCredit Group to fund innovative companies from a budget totalling EUR 250 mln, through ProCredit banks in Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania and Serbia.
EIF Executive Director Pier Luigi Gilibert told eKapija that he is satisfied with the signing of another SME guarantee agreement with the ProCredit Group - all for the benefit of innovative companies.
Asked about interest in countries where money from the InnovFin fund is already available to businesspeople and the amount of funds approved so far, Gilibert said that it is still early to talk about this since the agreement is relatively new.
- Judging by the conversation with the partners at ProCredit Bank, we believe that there is a sufficient interest among companies that will see all of the funds approved over the next two years, Gilibert said.
The objective of the InnovFin SME guarantee agreement is to encourage banks or other financial institutions to give loans to SMEs and small companies with medium market capitalisation (companies with under 500 employees) that need investments and/or business capital for research, development and innovation activities. The transaction has been made possible by the European Union through Horizon 2020 financial instruments.
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