To further strengthen the cultural and creative sector in Europe, the Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility of the Creative Europe Programme received an additional EUR 60 million through the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). Following this top-up, the size of Guarantee Facility will increase from EUR 121 million to EUR 181 million, expecting to generate more than EUR 1 billion in loans for thousands of cultural and creative SMEs.

This will allow more banks and other financial institutions from across Europe to increase financing for projects in the cultural and creative sectors. Since this innovative financial instrument has been launched in July 2016, agreements with financial intermediaries has been signed in Spain, France and Romania, expecting to offer over  EUR 230 million in loans for cultural and creative entreprizes. Following the top-up, four additional agreements will be soon signed with financial intermediaries from Czech Republic, Italy and Belgium.

Background

Set up under the cross-sectoral strand of the Creative Europe programme, the Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility is the first EU investment instrument with a wide scope in the culture and creative sectors. The Guarantee Facility is managed by the European Investment Fund (EIF) on behalf of the European Commission and benefits to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the cultural and creative sectors, often facing difficulties in accessing loans. The guarantee is a trigger for financial intermediaries to provide financing within a less familiar sector. In addition, financial intermediaries operating under the facility will have the opportunity to receive capacity building through customised training. The Capacity building programme will help the financial sector improve its understanding of the creative sectors and encourage the financial intermediaries to become more active lenders to creative SMEs in the future.