The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending EUR 50 million to Europejski Fundusz Leasingowy S.A. (EFL) for financing investments undertaken by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to support youth employment in various sectors in Poland. This is the first ever EIB loan in Poland in the framework of the “Jobs for Youth” initiative.

This new EIB product is being provided under the dedicated youth employment programme “Skills and Jobs – Investing for Youth” launched by the Bank in July 2013. The aim of the “Jobs for Youth” facility is to incentivise financial intermediaries – by offering even more favourable interest rates and maturity terms – to target their lending to SMEs, which contribute to the improvement of youth employment.

László Baranyay, EIB Vice-President responsible for lending in Poland, said: “Youth unemployment is one of the main challenges facing Europe, including Poland. In a bid to address the jobs crisis afflicting the EU’s 15-24 year olds, the EIB facilitates access to finance for small businesses – the drivers of job creation and growth. We therefore particularly welcome this agreement with EFL, as it is expected to boost the creation of new professional opportunities for young people across Poland.”

Radosław Kuczyński, the CEO of EFL, stressed: “The burdens imposed on Polish organisations translate into difficulties that young people experience in the labour market. The proposal drafted together with the European Investment Bank is designed to help businesses and young employees alike. I believe that our initiative offers twofold benefits to companies, which will receive good financing plus an incentive to train valuable employees. The advantages for the latter group are obvious.”  

Thanks to the EUR 50 million provided by the Bank of the European Union, EFL will finance SMEs throughout Poland which fulfil one of the following eligibility criteria:

  • they have employed at least one additional young person (15-24 year old) in the last six months calculated from the date of signature of the loan agreement with EFL,
  • they offer vocational training or internships/training programmes for young people,
  • they cooperate with a technical college/school/university to employ young people (e.g. in summer internships).

This is a continuation of the EIB’s successful cooperation with EFL since 2007. Including the current operation, the Bank has provided four loans totalling some EUR 530 million to finance the projects of SMEs and mid-caps in Poland.