The EIF has signed an agreement with ProCredit Bank in Ukraine to finance innovative companies to the tune of €50 million
The European Investment Fund and JSC “ProCredit Bank” have signed the first agreement in the framework of the project “InnovFin” (EU finance for innovators) – an initiative supported by the European Commission, aimed at raising funds for the development of innovative projects in SMEs.
InnovFin is one of the ways in which loans are guaranteed for innovative SMEs and is financed by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 programme. It will enable ProCredit Bank to increase funding for innovative Ukrainian enterprises on favourable terms.
Commenting on the signing of the agreement, the EIF’s Heinz Olbers said: “The Ukrainian market has great potential and opportunities for growth. While access to finance is the main challenge for Ukrainian SMEs, the InnovFin programme will also prove to be a useful vehicle for them.”
The signing of the InnovFin framework agreement is also an indication of the Ukrainian government’s support for EU reforms, said the EU Ambassador in Ukraine, Hugh Mingarelli: “We in the European community believe that we need to do more to support innovation in Ukraine. Our goal is to raise the standard of living of the population in Ukraine by increasing economic growth. Innovation is a critical requirement for boosting growth.”
InnovFin encourages banks and other financial institutions, with the EU’s financial support, to lend to SMEs (companies with no more than 500 employees) which need investment and/or operating capital to finance research, development and innovation. EIF selects partners from European financial institutions that have expressed interest in acting as a financial intermediary in Ukraine.