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    Pedro and Helmut surviving an avalanche of questions behind the mike., EIB blog usage

    Allar and Matt go after the small and the medium-sized enterprises on A Dictionary of Finance podcast

    SMEs: Small and medium-sized enterprises, ranging from one-person micro-enterprises to medium-sized companies with up to 250 employees. To qualify as an SME, the business has to have annual turnover below EUR 50 million or a balance sheet total below EUR 43 million.

    Asymmetric information: a company knowing much more about itself than the bank, creating a barrier to receiving financing. Especially acute problem with unlisted and potentially recently created SMEs, in which there is limited comparable information available.

    We all learned about economies of scale in school (and if you were absent that day, this podcast will provide a quick recap). So why is everyone talking about financing the small guys? And it’s not just talk: The EIB Group is investing a lot of money in SMEs. In this episode of A Dictionary of Finance podcast, Matt and Allar challenged two of the European Investment Bank Group’s top SME specialists and learned that 99.8% of enterprises in Europe are, in fact, SMEs. These companies employ 91 million people and create a lot of value.

    At the same time, it turns out, SMEs face a lot of problems when they interact with banks, the least of which is a couple of smart alecks recording a podcast questioning whether it’s worth investing in small companies. Matt and Allar try to find out if a hypothetical SME that sounds very much like a well-known social network could have received funding, what are the barriers in getting access to finance for SMEs, what is collateral and who are angel investors.

    On this week’s episode, the guests are:

    Helmut Kraemer-Eis from the European Investment Fund, the European Investment Bank Group’s specialist provider of risk finance to SMEs. Helmut has 18 years of experience in SME finance.  

    Pedro Eiras Antunes, the European Investment Bank’s main officer on SMEs. Before joining the EIB, Pedro worked since 1983 in banking, capital markets, financial consultancy and university teaching.

    Subscribe to A Dictionary of Finance podcast in the iTunes podcast app or on other podcast platforms like Stitcher. You can suggest topics for future podcasts by tweeting to Matt or Allar. We’re @EIBMatt and @AllarTankler.