Romania implements SME initiative
© andreistroe

Romania implements SME initiative

Five Romanian banks have signed up to the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) initiative in Romania to provide new financing for SMEs across the country.

The SME Initiative is managed by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and European Investment Fund (EIF), the government of Romania and the European Commission.

The agreements with the banks aim to facilitate access to finance for Romanian SMEs by providing a 60% guarantee on each loan and by lowering the interest rates charged by banks. These transactions with Raiffeisen Bank, ProCredit Bank Romania, Banca Comerciala Romana, Banca Transilvania and BancPost are expected to benefit around 3,700 SMEs and start-ups in need of finance.

The SME initiative entails an innovative change in the use of European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), combining the latter with EU central budget and EIB Group funds.

Romania is contributing €100m from its European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) which, together with resources from the EIB Group and the Horizon 2020 programme, will be leveraged with commercial lending through a risk-sharing mechanism.

Commenting on the new signatures, EIF deputy chief executive Roger Havenith said: “The uptake of the Romanian SME Initiative has been impressive, and I am pleased that five SME Initiative agreements have now been signed. These transactions will help to finance more than 3,700 Romanian SMEs over the coming years. The combination of ESIF, EU Horizon 2020 and EIB Group resources allows EIF to provide risk-sharing and capital relief to financial intermediaries for the ultimate benefit of local SMEs.”

Commenting on the initiative, European Commissioner for Regional Policy and Romanian national Corina Crețu said: “I am pleased to see that Romanian businesses are fully tapping into the potential of the SME initiative.

“Romanian entrepreneurs are talented and Romanian small businesses are competitive, but they often need an additional boost in order to develop innovative products, enter global value chains and create jobs in the country. This is what this initiative is about. I also hope that Romania will serve as an example in the EU and will convince other member states to join the SME initiative.”