EIB and SKB Group to support small and medium-sized companies in Slovenia
- The funds will support around 500 small corporate investment projects in Slovenia
- The number of EIB partner financing institutions in Slovenia rises to nine
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to lend EUR 50m to finance projects implemented by small and medium-sized companies and mid-cap businesses. A portion of the loans will be allocated under the Jobs for Youth (JfY) Initiative to SMEs and mid-caps employing people under the age of 30.
The EIB funds will co-finance the projects of companies offering vocational training, internships and/or training programmes for young people, or that have a cooperation agreement with technical colleges, schools and universities. The EU bank will strive to perform more transactions of this kind to strengthen its cooperation with commercial banks in Slovenia to maximise the outreach to SMEs in the country.
With the current transaction, the EIB is continuing its successful cooperation with SKB Group. So far, the EU bank has provided this financial intermediary with four loans amounting to EUR 250m, to improve the access of Slovene SMEs and mid-caps to long term loans provided under favourable terms.
The first partnership between EIB and SKB Group was signed in 2009, for EUR 75m. A second contract was then signed in November 2012, for the same amount, and a third was signed in December 2014, for EUR 50m. 77% of these funds were used to finance the projects of SMEs with fewer than 250 employees, 19% for mid-cap companies with between 250 and 3 000 employees, and 4% for the financing of projects in the Slovene public sector in the fields of energy efficiency and environmental protection.
EIB Vice-President Vazil Hudák, responsible for lending activities in Central Europe, stated: “The EIB is again joining forces with a well-established partner in Slovenia – SKB – to address the financial needs of SMEs and mid-caps. This is important as small businesses are an engine for growth and job creation. In addition, this is the first operation in Slovenia under the Jobs for Youth Initiative designed to help to increase the employment of young people to provide them with better life prospects.”
SKB CEO Andre Gardella stated: “In the past eight years the EIB and SKB Group have financed more than 5 000 projects presented by local SMEs and mid-caps. SMEs and mid-caps are a significant driver of economic growth, innovation, employment and social inclusion. With this new injection of funds, we shall more specifically contribute to supporting investments promoted by, or designed to create jobs for, young people, therefore supporting the medium and long-term development of Slovenia.”