The European Investment Fund (EIF) and the British Business Bank (BBB) have signed an agreement under the European Commission’s InnovFin initiative to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK access an estimated £30m (ca. €35m) in additional financing. This transaction benefits from the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe.
This agreement will enable BBB to guarantee bank loans for innovative companies in the UK over the next two years with the support of a counter-guarantee provided by EIF and backed under Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation programme. The agreement will assist SMEs that would otherwise not have had access to the finance they need to innovate, expand or create jobs.
European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: “Today’s agreement is excellent news for those innovative SMEs who would not otherwise have had the opportunity to obtain the finance they need to grow and create jobs. I am delighted that the Investment Plan is there to support them as they take their next steps.”
Commenting on the signature, EIF Chief Executive Pier Luigi Gilibert said: “In the current economic climate, there is undeniably a great need to provide SMEs, the backbone of European economies, with the financing they need to grow and create jobs. I therefore welcome this new InnovFin agreement with BBB which will greatly benefit innovative SMEs active in the manufacturing and technical sectors.”
Keith Morgan, CEO of the British Business Bank, said: “At the British Business Bank, we are committed to increasing the volume and diversity of funding available to smaller UK businesses looking to grow. We are delighted to have confirmed this new agreement which will enable us to increase our range of support for innovative and ambitious smaller businesses across the UK.”
This new transaction with BBB reflects the EU’s commitment to rapidly launch concrete initiatives under EFSI, significantly accelerating lending and the guaranteeing of transactions capable of boosting jobs and growth in the EU.
For more information, visit the British Business Bank website.