• EIB’s first impact finance loan in Bosnia and Herzegovina and its second in the Western Balkans
  • This is the first loan signed in the Western Balkans by the EIB’s new branch - EIB Global, designed to support more impactful operations outside the European Union
  • The loan aims to create economic opportunities for women, young people and vulnerable groups through access to finance and job creation, contributing further to inclusive development and economic resilience in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Under its new branch EIB Global, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the bank of European Union, has signed a €20 million loan with Intesa Sanpaolo Banka  BiH aiming to foster youth employment, gender equality and socially inclusive practices among SMEs and mid-caps. These funds will enable Intesa Sanpaolo BiH to on-lend to local companies that are committed to improving the social impact of their businesses and creating long-term leadership and employment opportunities for women, young people and segments of the population that face higher entry barriers in the labour market.

This innovative loan includes a performance-based reward mechanism for companies that meet specific targets to foster leadership, employment and professional development opportunities for women, young people and vulnerable groups (e.g. people with disabilities, refugees, etc.). Under this incentive scheme, tailor-made social impact objectives will be agreed with each company benefiting from the EIB financing and a financial reward commensurate with the level of social impact generated will be distributed to those who meet such targets.

On this occasion, the EIB Vice-President responsible for the Western Balkans, Lilyana Pavlova, said: This new financing provides further proof of the EIB’s enduring support for the country’s economic recovery and sustainable growth on the path to EU integration. We are delighted to once again join forces with our long-term partner Intesa Sanpaolo Banka to not only increase access to finance for SMEs and mid-caps in BiH, but to do so whilst boosting leadership and quality employment opportunities for women, young people and vulnerable groups. Under Team Europe and our new EIB Global branch, the EIB looks forward to enabling economic transformation for a more inclusive, green and sustainable future.”

Marco Elio Rottigni, Chief of Intesa Sanpaolo’s International Subsidiary Banks Division, commented: Our group aspires to be the world’s leading bank in terms of social impact. As such, we are active in providing tangible social contributions to communities in terms of social inclusion, as well as the green transition, culture, education and innovation. Thanks to our broad and long-standing cooperation with the European Investment Bank, we are pleased to be the first in the country to offer this kind of funding through our subsidiary Intesa Sanpaolo Banka Bosnia and Herzegovina”.

Marco Trevisan, CEO of Intesa Sanpaolo Banka BiH, said: “It is a great pleasure to continue our cooperation with EIB. We are signing today a ground-breaking credit line which will enable social inclusion for local SMEs, Mid-Caps and social enterprises. Our bank will be the very first in Bosnia Herzegovina to introduce this new mechanism to support the needs of our clients, and we are sure that they will widely benefit from it”.

The reward mechanism will be financed via a €3.3 million grant provided under the EIB’s Economic Resilience Initiative (ERI) Fund, aimed at boosting job creation and sustainable and inclusive private sector growth. A comprehensive technical assistance programme will be created to support the project’s implementation and the achievement of the social impact objectives agreed with SMEs and mid-caps in BiH.

This will be the sixth cooperation of the EIB and Intesa Sanpaolo BiH in support of the private sector in BiH which has resulted in the disbursement of over €238 million and provided support to 339 companies so far. To date, the EIB has provided €860 million to the private sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which has helped sustain close to 100 000 jobs.

Background information

About the EIB in Bosnia and Herzegovina:

The EU bank has been active in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 1977. To date, it has invested €3.1 billion, mostly to the transportation sector and small and medium enterprises. For more information regarding the EIB’s projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina, please refer to:


About the EIB in the Western Balkans:

The EIB is one of the leading international financiers in the Western Balkans. Since 2009, the Bank has financed projects totalling over €8.6 billion in the region. For detailed information on EIB activities in the Western Balkans please visit the following website: www.eib.org/en/publications/the-eib-in-the-western-balkans

About EIB Global

EIB Global is the EIB Group’s new specialised arm dedicated to increasing the impact of international partnerships and development finance.  EIB Global is designed to foster strong, focused partnership within Team Europe, alongside fellow development finance institutions, and civil society. EIB Global brings the Group closer to local people, companies and institutions through our offices across the world

About the Economic Resilience Initiative (ERI)

The Economic Resilience Initiative was created in 2016 in response to a call from the European Council. The objective of the initiative is to help shift patterns of migration in the medium to long term and provide support to forcibly displaced populations by increasing the resilience of economies to future shocks. The ERI is doing this by mobilising finance to support growth, job creation, vital infrastructure projects and social cohesion in the EU’s neighbouring regions. For more information please follow the link: https://www.eib.org/en/about/initiatives/resilience-initiative/index.htm or Economic Resilience Initiative Fund (eib.org)

About Intesa Sanpaolo Banka d.d. Bosna i Hercegovina

Intesa Sanpaolo Bank d.d. BiH, is a commercial bank, and one of the leading banks in Bosnia and Herzegovina with long business continuity. The Bank provides all types of banking services in domestic and foreign currency with a wide portfolio of services intended for corporate banking and retail. It operates through 5 main regional branches and 47 operating units, has an extensive network of ATMs and POS devices. It is present on the entire territory of BiH, in the Federation of BiH (branches mostly concentrated on the territory of the Federation of B&H, where Intesa Sanpaolo Bank BiH is ranked third in total assets), Republic of Srpska and Brčko District. Also, Intesa Sanpaolo Bank BiH maintains a leading position in the B&H market in terms of European customer satisfaction index, with recognizable highest rates in terms of company image, customer care after sales and relations with employees and organization of branches/affiliates.

Intesa Sanpaolo Bank d.d. BiH, is a member of the PBZ Group which is also part of the Intesa Sanpaolo Group, one of the largest banking groups in Europe.

About Intesa Sanpaolo

Intesa Sanpaolo is Italy’s leading banking group – serving families, businesses and the real economy – with a significant international presence. Intesa Sanpaolo’s distinctive business model makes it a European leader in Wealth Management, Protection & Advisory, highly focused on digital and fintech. An efficient and resilient Bank, it benefits from its wholly-owned product factories in asset management and insurance. The Group’s strong ESG commitment includes providing €115 billion in impact lending by 2025 to communities and for the green transition, and €500 million in contributions to support people most in need, positioning Intesa Sanpaolo as a world leader in terms of social impact. Intesa Sanpaolo is committed to Net Zero by 2030 for its own emissions and by 2050 for its loan and investment portfolios. An engaged patron of Italian culture, Intesa Sanpaolo has created its own network of museums, the Gallerie d’Italia, to host the bank's artistic heritage and as a venue for prestigious cultural projects.