Western Balkans Enterprise Development &Innovation Facility (WB EDIF)
Short description of the overall project
Set up under the EU umbrella of Western Balkans Investment Facility, WB EDIF was launched in December 2012 by the European Commission, the European Investment Fund, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB), acting as co-lead international financial institutions.
Although this is not directly addressing support to energy efficiency or small renewable investments, it aims at increasing the financial resources made available to SMEs based in the Western Balkans, in order to support socio-economic development and EU accession across the Region.
The 145 million EUR of initial capital pulled together under WB EDIF may translate into about EUR 300 million of finance benefitting SMEs based in the Western Balkan countries.
Short description of activities financed by the donation
- 1st Pillar SME equity financing 138 million EUR: given that under this pillar, EDIF offers two equity funds aimed at early stage innovation companies (the Enterprise Innovation Fund) and later stage companies in their expansion phase (Enterprise Expansion Fund).
- 2nd Pillar: SME Loan Guarantee WB EDIF offers also a guarantee instrument, with a total value of 405 million EUR; in many cases, SMEs in the Western Balkans, may have a limited creditworthiness and the financing may be either quite expensive, or the collaterals requested quite large, thus preventing start- ups or small manufacturing businesses to be able to develop. A guarantee product in which a portion of the risk incurred by banks is covered (by EIF) when extending loans to SMEs – this risk coverage enables the banks therefore to provide financing at beneficial terms, such as via lower collateral and interest rates.
- 3rd Pillar: SME Lending This facility amounts at 85 million EUR from EDIF as follows: 70 million EUR EBRD lending to local commercial banks and credit institutions in the countries of the Western Balkans, that would be on-lent to local SMEs; an EU grant component of 15 million EUR is provided to support the Programme.
- 4th Pillar: Support Services Having in view, that SMEs are in most cases lacking experience in business development, marketing, financing, etc. EDIF also offers a range of support.