• The project will finance job-creating SMEs and Mid-Caps, with a particular focus on start-ups
  • The EIB is celebrating today 40 years of activity in Portugal

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed today four EUR 70 million loans with the Portuguese banks Banco BPI, Caixa Geral de Depósitos, Millennium bcp and Banco Santander Totta in order to implement the EIB programme to foster employment and start-ups in Portugal. The project comes under the financial pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe and will be completed by an additional EUR 20 million loan at a later stage. EIB President, Werner Hoyer, and EIB Vice-President, Román Escolano, participated in the signing ceremony, which also part of the Bank’s celebration of 40 years of activity in Portugal. The EIB started working in the country in 1976 and during these four decades it has granted more than EUR 45 billion worth of loans to support Portuguese projects.

This total EIB lending of EUR 300 million will finance projects implemented by Portuguese SMEs and Mid-Caps that promote job creation. The project will focus on investing in start-ups and companies employing young people and the long-term unemployed, as well as businesses run by the self-employed. These EIB loans under the Investment Plan for Europe will contribute to increasing the funding capacity of some of the most important Portuguese banks so that they can unlock investment by SMEs and Mid-Caps for these specific purposes. The focus of the financing is aligned with national programmes and priorities in these areas.

With today’s signatures, a total of eight projects and financial agreements have been signed in Portugal under the Investment Plan for Europe. The goal is to support initiatives that contribute to innovation and employment creation in the country.

EIB President Werner Hoyer highlighted the long-standing partnership between Portugal and the EIB, saying that ‘this great cooperation will continue in the future. During these past 40 years we have supported more than 25,000 Portuguese SMEs and have contributed to financing the country’s infrastructure and industry. We are here today to show the commitment of the EIB Group to supporting the Portuguese economy.’

Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: "The Investment Plan is a proven resource for innovative and R&D intensive SMEs and start-ups, and is delivering beyond our expectations. That is why we have recently increased the amount of financing available to SMEs under the Investment Plan. With today's announcement of EUR 300 million for Portuguese start-ups and small businesses, we really see the Investment Plan making a difference to our citizens. I look forward to future Investment Plan news in Portugal".

Román Escolano, EIB Vice-President, said that “these loans demonstrate the strong commitment of the European Investment Bank and the European Union in Portugal. The contracts signed today will have a direct impact on the economy of the country, with visible and tangible benefits for Portuguese citizens, by supporting long-term growth and creating jobs promoted by SMEs and start-up companies.”