Since 2011, the European Investment Bank Group (EIB) and ProCredit have jointly improved access to long term finance for SMEs in Georgia. So far, 872 projects of small and medium businesses received EIB financing, totalling EUR 25 million, through ProCredit Bank Georgia.
“Unlocking the potential of the private sector in Georgia through availability of affordable, long term financing for enterprises, in particular SMEs, is one of the EIB’s strategic priorities. We welcome very much that, also thanks to our partners of ProCredit Bank Georgia, our activities are bearing results in implementation of important projects”, said Mr Heinz Olbers, EIB Neighbouring Countries Department Director, during a presentation attended by Finance Minister of Georgia Dimitri Kumsishvili, of selected projects financed by ProCredit Bank Georgia under EIB Loans for SMEs and/or EIB InnovFin SME Guarantee in Batumi today.
The EIB signed with the ProCredit Bank Georgia three Loans for SMEs, in 2011, 2012, and 2015, with a total value of EUR 40 million. In March this year, following the signature of the InnovFin SME Guarantee agreement with the EIF, ProCredit Bank Georgia also started to use the InnovFin SME Portfolio Guarantee.
The Bank’s activities in Georgia as well as in other Eastern Partnership countries help to reach the goals set up by the EU’s European Neighbourhood Policy by financing projects that promote prosperity and increased regional integration. This activity increases the economic stability in this region and helps to forge stronger intraregional partnerships and supports low carbon and climate resilient growth.
The EIB – the European Union’s bank – finances projects in Georgia on the basis of the EU External Lending Mandate. The mandate provides the EIB with a guarantee covered by the EU budget for projects in the areas of social and economic infrastructure, local private sector development, in particular SMEs, and climate change mitigation and adaptation.
The EIB is a AAA-rated, policy-driven EU financial institution raising funds in capital markets to on-lend to eligible investments supporting EU policies and priorities. The EIB passes on the financial advantage it obtains through benefits such as attractive interest rates and long maturities to projects that score highly in terms of EU objectives and are consistent with the Bank’s commitment to supporting sound, sustainable investments. The EIB’s extensive experience in financing projects, its in-house sector expertise and its deep knowledge of European policies facilitate the identification of projects that match both national and EU priorities. The EIB’s project appraisal covers technical, economic, financial, environmental and social aspects as well as credit risks, provides for the appropriate mitigants and conditionality and helps structure projects in line with EU standards. The EIB thus acts as a flag carrier for EU policies outside the EU, contributes to the dissemination of best practices and facilitates the participation of other financiers in EU priority projects.
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.
“InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators” is a joint initiative launched by the European Investment Bank Group (EIB and EIF) in cooperation with the European Commission under the EU Research and Innovation Programme Horizon 2020.
InnovFin consists of a series of integrated and complementary financing tools and advisory services offered by the EIB Group, covering the entire value chain of research and innovation (R&I) in order to support investments by the smallest to the largest enterprises.
In February 2017 the European Investment Fund (EIF) and ProCredit Bank JSC (Georgia) signed the first agreement for SMEs and small mid-caps in Georgia under InnovFin. This agreement, supported by the InnovFin SME Guarantee facility with the financial backing of the EU under Horizon 2020, is expected to enable ProCredit to provide EUR 50m worth of loans to innovative companies over the next two years.
Since the beginning of 2016 all EU activities that support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Eastern Partnership countries have come under the umbrella of EU4Business.
- Support to national authorities, helping to change and improve laws and regulations, building a better regulatory framework to improve investor confidence;
- Support to Business Support Organisations (BSOs) as membership organisations enable a dialogue between government and business. EU4Business can organise PPD (Public-Private Dialogue), co-operation and networking;
- Direct support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), for example by providing finance, training, coaching and advice, and import and export support and matchmaking.
Follow us on Twitter @eib