European Investment Fund (EIF) and Banque Internationale à Luxembourg (BIL) extend InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility agreement; EUR 20 million available for innovative SMEs and small mid-caps.
(Featured Image: Marcel Leyers, Chief of Corporate and Institutional Banking of BIL and incumbent CEO of BIL / Image Credit Marion Dessard / Silicon Luxembourg)
The project is supported by European Fund for Strategic Investments, part of the Investment Plan for Europe, or Juncker Plan. The agreement has been signed completely electronically, using an e-signature, a first for both parties.
This extension of an existing InnovFin agreement between the EIF and BIL will see an increase in access to finance for innovative Luxembourgish small and medium-sized businesses and small mid-caps. The operation is backed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe.
The original guarantee agreement, first signed in 2015, was increased by EUR 10 million to allow BIL to expand its lending to the innovative business sector in Luxembourg by twice that amount. The increase means that the EIF’s guarantee will cover a portfolio of SME and small mid-cap lending by BIL of up to EUR 80 million in total, awarding loans to well over 100 businesses.
”The extension of our agreement with the EIF demonstrates the relevance of the InnovFin initiative and our success in unearthing and supporting innovative companies in Luxembourg. From helping start-ups to take off, to financing innovative projects designed by mature SMEs, BIL has firmly established itself as a key supporter of Luxembourg’s thriving innovation ecosystem. We are proud to open a new chapter of this success story that will encourage the local economy to further innovate and grow” said Marcel Leyers, Chief of Corporate and Institutional Banking of BIL and incumbent CEO of BIL as of 1 May this year.
Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: “This is very good news, and yet another example of the Juncker Plan at work. It means fresh financing for Luxembourgish small and medium businesses, and this is often exactly what they need to launch new products, integrate innovative processes, create new jobs and expand beyond their local market.”
EIF Chief Executive, Pier Luigi Gilibert, added: “Increasing access to finance remains a crucial topic throughout Europe, including in Luxembourg. With this increase, BIL will continue to offer more favourable financing to innovative SMEs and small mid-caps, something that I’m sure the market will appreciate. InnovFin and the Investment Plan for Europe continue to be instrumental in giving opportunities to smaller businesses.”