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SMEs in the Czech Republic to benefit from around €250 million in EU-guaranteed loans

Brussels, 31 March 2015

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Czech Republic will get easier access to risk capital thanks to the new EU-backed loan guarantee facilities under the Horizon 2020 programmes. Two deals signed today by European Investment Fund (EIF) with Komerční banka and Česká spořitelna will allow both Czech banks to enter into new loan agreements with SMEs as well as Small Mid-caps for a total of CZK 6950 million(over €250 million) over the next two years.

The new agreements allow Komerční banka to provide finance to innovative companies in the Czech Republic for a total of CZK 4150 million (over €150 million) and Česká spořitelna for a total of CZK 2800 million (over €100 million) over the next two years with the support of a guarantee provided by the EIF and backed under Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.

Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: "The Czech Republic can reap huge benefits from its expanding research base. The two InnovFin SME Guarantee agreements signed today will enable innovative SMEs to create the business opportunities of tomorrow, which will strengthen the Czech economy."

Under the two agreements, loans to finance innovation activities will be guaranteed up to 50% by the European Investment Fund and the European Union (EU) under InnovFin SME Guarantee, which targets early and development stage companies. It is part of the new generation of financial instruments supported under Horizon 2020, the EU's Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (IP/14/670).

Background

InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility provides guarantees and counter-guarantees on debt financing of between €25 000 and €7.5 million in order to improve access to loan finance for innovative small and medium-sized enterprises and small midcaps (up to 499 employees). The facility is managed by the EIF, and is rolled out through financial intermediaries – banks and other financial institutions – in EU Member States and Associated Countries. Under this facility, financial intermediaries are guaranteed by the EIF against a proportion of their losses incurred on the debt financing covered under the facility.

InnovFin SME Guarantee is part of "InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators", the new generation of EU financial instruments and advisory services that was developed under Horizon 2020 to help innovative firms access finance more easily. It will help inject up to €48 billion in investments in Research and Innovation across Europe.

About Horizon 2020

On 1 January 2014, the European Union launched a new research and innovation funding programme called Horizon 2020. Over the next seven years almost €80 billion will be invested in research and innovation projects to support Europe’s economic competitiveness and extend the frontiers of human knowledge. The EU research budget is focused mainly on improving everyday life in areas like health, the environment, transport, food and energy. Research partnerships with the pharmaceutical, aerospace, car and electronics industries also encourage private-sector investment in support of future growth and high-skilled job creation.

 

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