The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Slovene Enterprise Fund (SEF) have signed a COSME agreement in Slovenia, benefiting from the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe.
The agreement will allow Slovene Enterprise Fund to provide EUR 180 million of guarantees to SMEs in Slovenia over the next three years. The guarantees will be provided as a result of a counter-guarantee from EIF under the COSME programme with financial backing from the European Commission. The agreement will make it possible for SEF to support additional financing at favourable conditions to over 1,100 SMEs.
European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: “It is encouraging that SMEs in Slovenia are now accessing finance under the Investment Plan. Already more than 70,000 SMEs across Europe can benefit from loans backed by the EU guarantee. Small and medium sized businesses can also use the new Advisory Hub to help them with their investment project proposals.”
Commenting on the signature, EIF Chief Executive, Pier Luigi Gilibert said: “I am pleased to have signed this EFSI SME guarantee agreement in Slovenia under the COSME programme. Working with Slovene Enterprise Fund with whom we have supported SMEs already in the past, we will be able to help over 1,100 entrepreneurs to grow and develop their businesses”.
Maja Tomanič Vidovič, CEO at SEF said: “We are really happy that we successfully completed the selection procedure under COSME programme and signed the COSME Counter-guarantee Agreement with EIF as the first Slovene public institution. Within this programme, we will be able to increase the tendered quotas over the next three years. Our guarantees as collateral for bank loans, which the SMEs obtain from one of the participating banks in our guarantee scheme, enable easier, faster and cheaper access to bank loans for micro, small and medium sized companies, through lower requirements for additional collateral that represents a huge burden to the entrepreneur. Therefore, successful candidature is of utmost importance for us, since guarantees as collateral for bank loans are the most important type of incentives for SMEs.”
This deal reflects the EIB Group’s commitment to respond swiftly to calls from Member States, the European Commission and the European Parliament for a rapid launch of concrete initiatives under EFSI, accelerating lending and guaranteeing transactions capable of boosting jobs and growth in the EU.
Compliments of the European Commission