The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Confidi Systema! have signed an agreement under the European Commission’s InnovFin initiative, backed by the EU's research and innovation programme Horizon 2020, to provide EUR 26 million in financing to innovative Italian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and small mid-caps over the next two years. This transaction also benefits from the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe.

EIF is providing a counter-guarantee that will enable Confidi Systema! to increase its guarantee volumes and, as a result, assist SMEs in accessing credit. The transaction is expected to generate a portfolio of up to EUR 26 million of bank loans that will benefit over 200 companies located mainly in north-western Italy.

European Commission Vice-President, Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: “Italy continues to perform exceptionally well under the Investment Plan. Thousands of Italian SMEs are already reaping the benefits of the EFSI. I am delighted that, with today's agreement, a further 200 companies will gain access to the finance they need to innovate, expand and create jobs.”

EIF Chief Executive, Pier Luigi Gilibert, commented: “I am very pleased to see EIF and Confidi Systema! concluding this cooperation under the EFSI umbrella, a transaction which will generate benefits for Italian businesses. As one of Italy’s major credit guarantee companies, Confidi Systema! is very well positioned to reach out to Italian SMEs in need of financing.”


About EIF

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank Group. Its central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment. More information on EIF's work under EFSI is available here.


About Confidi Systema!

Confidi Systema! is a regulated financial intermediary. Its mission is to provide loan guarantees for SMEs who have an economically sound project and a tangible business development project but are not able to provide sufficient bankable collateral. Acting as an ‘accessible local branch’, Confidi Systema! provides a competent and efficient service for both SMEs and credit institutions. Thanks to its deep-rooted local presence, its knowledge of the market is extensive and direct. Confidi Systema! supports all the manufacturing sectors that have the financial means to tackle the complex new economic environment. To this end, Confidi Systema! deals not only with ‘new loans’ geared towards investments, but it also grants new guarantees on existing credit lines. As of the 31st of December 2016, Confidi Systema! had a total loan portfolio of about EUR 1 063 million for a total of 18 893 loans and issued EUR 585 million in guarantees, thereby supporting over 60 000 SMEs and entrepreneurs in Italy to finance their projects.


About the Investment Plan for Europe

The Investment Plan focuses on strengthening European investments to create jobs and growth. It does so by making smarter use of new and existing financial resources, removing obstacles to investment, providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects. The Investment Plan is already showing results. The projects and agreements approved for financing under EFSI so far are expected to mobilise over EUR 168 billion in total investments across 28 Member States and to support more than 387 000 SMEs. On 14 September 2016, the European Commission proposed extending EFSI by increasing its firepower and duration as well as reinforcing its strengths. Find the latest EFSI figures by sector and by country here. For more info, see the FAQs.


About InnovFin

The InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility is established under the "EU InnovFin Finance for Innovators" initiative developed under Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for research and Innovation. It provides guarantees and counter-guarantees on debt financing of between EUR 25 000 and EUR 7.5 million in order to improve access to loan finance for innovative small and medium-sized enterprises and small mid-caps (up to 499 employees). The facility is managed by 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 EU and EIF against a proportion of their losses incurred on the debt financing covered under the facility.


European Commission: Enda McNamara

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