Romania implements SME Initiative: EUR 580m for Romanian businesses
The EIB Group (European Investment Bank and European Investment Fund) has concluded an agreement with the Government of Romania and the European Commission for the implementation of the SME Initiative in Romania, which will support Small and Medium enterprises (SMEs). It is expected that circa EUR 540 million of new SME financing will be provided under this Initiative.
Romania is contributing EUR 100 million from its European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds) to this EU initiative, which will be leveraged with commercial lending through a risk-sharing mechanism. In addition to the contribution from the EIB Group, this will result in more SMEs benefiting from European resources on advantageous terms, such as reduced interest rates and improved collateral requirements. This financial instrument will act as a catalyst for private investment and foster job creation within the SME community.
The SME Initiative entails an innovative change in the use of ESI Funds, combining the latter with EU central budget (resources from the Horizon 2020 Programme) and EIB Group funds. Following the signature today, the EIF will shortly publish an open call for expression of interest, inviting banks and other financial intermediaries to apply. Once selected, these banks and other financial intermediaries will make new funding opportunities available to SMEs.
The SME Initiative Programme for Romania, adopted in March 2016 and funded by EUR 100 million from European Regional Development Funds (ERDF), is part of a broader initiative of the European Commission and the EIB Group, to encourage Member States to double their use of ESI Funds invested through financial instruments in 2014-2020.
The SME Initiative is a joint financial instrument of the European Commission and the EIB Group. It was designed as a fast and effective response instrument to increase lending to the real economy, create jobs and stimulate growth.
The European Commission adopted the Operational Programme SME Initiative for Romania on 23 March 2016 to boost the competiveness of Romania's micro, small and medium-sized businesses through increased access to finance.