Kids these days… are often unemployed, and not by choice. So if kids are supposed to be the future, when will we give them the chance to realize their full potential?

According to Eurostat’s latest measurements, 14.7% of eligible 15-29 year olds in the EU were unemployed – a much higher figure than overall unemployment in Europe. In some countries, notably Greece and Spain, this figure rises to more than a third.

Which is why the European Investment Bank, the EU Bank, already in 2013 launched “The Jobs for Youth” lending initiative at the request of the European Council.

Under the initiative, the EIB provides additional incentives to banks and other financial intermediaries if they agree to lend that money to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-caps that employ or train young people.

One such example is our EUR 100 million loan to Komerční Banka in the Czech Republic.

So the great news is, if you are looking to employ young people for their fresh perspectives that could disrupt industries, for their energy and drive, for their quick learning abilities – you will get all that plus better terms on your bank loan!

Altogether, the EIB Group in 2017 financed SMEs and mid-caps with EUR 29.6 billion, making this the largest activity of the EIB’s business. There are several reasons for that, including EIB research showing that smaller firms suffer the most from market gaps for investment, and the well-established fact that SMEs make up the majority of companies in the EU and contribute the most to employment. Our EUR 29.6 billion reached globally approximately 285 800 small- and medium-sized companies, employing about 3.9 million people in total.

Our small-sized cartoon, The Brood, about large-sized issues that small- and medium-sized companies come across when they try to access finance, can be explored for further antics here