There is nothing funny about banks! Or at least there wasn’t, until now. To celebrate European SME Week, the EU Bank launches a start-up cartoon

With Europe’s top event for small and medium-sized enterprises, the SME Assembly, taking place in Tallinn, Estonia, the European Investment Bank commissioned Madis Ots, a one-man SME from Estonia, to illustrate some of the challenges that SME’s, particularly start-up companies, face when trying to access finance with a start-up cartoon Welcome to “The Brood”, a weekly dose of a hedgehog, a rabbit and a wolf trying to get the bear to finance them (plus assorted antics).

“Rabbit, wolf and hedgehog represent entrepreneurs, including start-uppers, with all their merits and flaws. They’re always full of ideas – some brilliant, some a bit blurry, some completely over the top,” Madis explains. “The bear symbolizes the old-school companies and bankers – slow, uninspiring and inflexible.

>@Madis Ots
©Madis Ots

Madis started publishing a cartoon strip based on the same characters when he was still a student, more than 20 years ago and built up a loyal following in the country. We’ll now help him test the international market – to see if the depictions resonate with people starting up their own small business outside of Estonia as well. In places, where various intermediaries supported by the EIB Group provide faster, more flexible and hopefully more inspiring ways of financing SMEs.

Enjoy the cartoon here on eib.org weekly - until it runs out of financing!

>@Madis Ots
©Madis Ots

Within the EIB Group, the European Investment Fund finances venture capital funds hoping to discover another ‘unicorn’, and security packages for funds, as well as offering conditional and subordinated loans. Learn more about the venture capital facility here.

>@Madis Ots
©Madis Ots

The European Investment Fund also advises the European Angels Fund which provides equity to Business Angels and other non-institutional investors for the financing of innovative companies in the form of co-investments. You can find out more about what they do here.