Italy: UniCredit and the EIB - EUR 500m for Italian SMEs to promote female entrepreneurship and climate action
- Feb 28, 2019
UniCredit, UniCredit Leasing and the EIB are renewing their commitment to supporting the real economy by financing Italian small and medium enterprises (SMEs), with particular emphasis on female entrepreneurship, innovation and climate action projects.
- A EUR 200 million credit line for projects in all productive sectors, with a tranche reserved for businesses controlled or run by women and another for innovative companies
- EUR 50 million for projects to combat climate change
- UniCredit will double the sums earmarked by the EU Bank
UniCredit, UniCredit Leasing and the European Investment Bank (EIB) are renewing their commitment to supporting the real economy by financing Italian small and medium enterprises (SMEs), with particular emphasis on female entrepreneurship, innovation and climate action projects.
The agreements signed include a EUR 250 million credit line made available by the EIB and a commitment by UniCredit to match that sum in support of beneficiary SMEs, thereby raising the maximum overall amount to EUR 500 million.
Financing of both new and existing projects that have not yet been completed, with a maximum term of 12 years or 20 years (for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects) is intended for businesses operating in all productive sectors – agriculture, crafts, industry, retail, tourism and services. Pure financial investment and/or real estate projects are not covered by the agreement.
Female entrepreneurship and innovation: EUR 400 million
An initial EUR 200 million credit line will be provided by the EIB for projects by SMEs located throughout Italy, with up to 25% of the total amount intended for businesses managed or controlled by women. This is one of the first transactions of this kind signed in Europe by the EU bank, and the biggest in terms of the amount of financing. Up to 40% of the total will, however, concern projects by innovative SMEs or SMEs supporting innovation. According to preliminary estimates, this loan will help to support around 25,000 jobs and some 500 businesses controlled or managed by women.
UniCredit, which is in charge of selecting the projects and managing the finance provided to the companies, can finance up to 100% of investment, for an amount of EUR 12.5 million. The maximum individual cost of such projects is EUR 25 million.
The bank will double the EIB's credit line with its own funds, thus increasing the finance made available to the real economy to EUR 400 million.
EUR 100 million for projects to combat climate change
The second credit line, made up of EUR 50 million provided by the EIB, will be matched with another EUR 50 million by UniCredit and is aimed at projects implemented by SMEs and local authorities that have an environmental purpose and aim to combat climate change. Projects in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors are eligible for financing with a maximum term of 20 years on the basis of the economic life of the investments to be financed.
Once again, the loan granted by UniCredit with the EIB's funds can be up to EUR 12.5 million. The projects can have a maximum individual cost of EUR 25 million.
In the last five years, UniCredit has channelled circa EUR 5 billion of EIB financing to Italian SMEs, supporting some 4,100 projects.
To improve the impact of its activities on women and girls, the EIB adopted a Strategy on Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment and a Gender Action Plan with the aim of embedding gender equality and, in particular women’s economic empowerment in the EIB’s business model covering its lending, blending and advising work within and outside the EU.
More information: The EIB gender equality initiatives