The European Commission and the European Investment Fund (EIF) today launched a €121 million guarantee initiative to support SMEs in the cultural and creative sectors via financial institutions. This scheme is expected to create more than €600 million worth of bank loans over the next six years.Guarantee institutions, commercial and promotional banks as well as other financial intermediaries benefiting from the €121 million guarantee will support more than ten thousand SMEs in a wide range of sectors such as audio-visual (including film, television, animation, video games and multimedia), festivals, music, literature, architecture, archives, libraries and museums, artistic crafts, cultural heritage, design, performing arts, publishing, radio and visual arts. The financial instrument, set-up under Creative Europe– the main EU programme dedicated to the cultural and creative sectors –will be managed by the EIF on behalf of the European Commission. Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society Günther Oettinger welcomed the initiative launched today: “Creative minds and companies need to experiment and take risks to thrive, for our society and for our economy. We are helping them to get the bank loans they would normally not get.” EIF Deputy Chief Executive Roger Havenith said: “Helping business to scale up and access market-based financing solutions is high on the European Commission’s agenda. Providing credit risk protection and capacity building for finance providers are two essential ingredients in the recipe for support for SMEs in the cultural and creative sectors. The Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility which we are signing today will help SMEs from the film to festival and music to museum arena across Europe to start up and develop.” A press release in all EU languages is available here as well as a set of questions and answers.
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