Investment Plan supports SMEs in cultural and creative sectors in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Finland

  • EIF €6 million guarantee to Finora unlocks favourable loans for SMEs in cultural and creative sectors;
  • Support allows Finora, a SME focused digital lender to expand, further digitalizing financial services in the European Union;
  • The operation is enabled by the Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility (CCS) established the European Commission and managed by the EIF, and EFSI, a part of the Investment plan for Europe.

More support will become available for small and medium enterprises from the cultural and creative sectors in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Finland. Thanks to a €6 million guarantee from the European Investment Fund (EIF) to Estonian lender Finora Capital, they will gain access to more affordable loans.

The operation is enabled under both the Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility (CCS), a guarantee scheme managed by the EIF on behalf of the European Commission, and the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI), a part of the Investment Plan for Europe. This is the first CCS supported operation in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland. 

The EIF guarantees will allow Finora, a fully digital, alternative finance providing company to develop a new product matching the specific needs of SMEs in cultural and creative sectors, develop competences in financing the cultural and creative sectors and expand into new markets.

Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market, said: “Today’s support to cultural and creative companies in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Finland is a great initiative, part of our joint efforts to offer concrete, quick and direct relief to small businesses and individual actors in the cultural and creative sector that have been severely affected by the coronavirus crisis. Now more than ever European SMEs and creators need support across Europe. I am very happy our financial tool is helping them to weather the crisis, power their creativity, and preserve Europe’s rich and diverse cultural scene.

Alain Godard, Chief Executive of the EIF commented on the operation saying: “Cultural and creative sectors are an important driver of European social and economic development. The European Investment Fund is happy to support Lithuanian, Estonian, Latvian and Finnish SMEs in these sectors develop and grow.  We are equally happy to support development of an ambitious start-up like Finora and continued digitalization and modernization of the financial markets in the European Union.”

Andrus Alber, the CEO of Finora: “We are very glad and proud that Finora was in this region the first partner for the EIF in this sector. With the support from the EIF, Finora is able to expand its offering in Estonia and Lithuania already during Q4 this year. In 2021 we want to start offering the product also in Latvia and Finland”.

Background information

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank Group. Its central mission is to support Europe’s micro, small and medium-sized enterprises by helping them to access finance. It designs and implements venture and growth capital operations, as well as guarantee and microfinance instruments specifically targeting this market segment. In this role, the EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment.

Finora Capital is an Estonian FSA licensed credit provider. Finora currently provides mortgage-based loans, factoring, working capital loans, leasing and guarantees to SMEs in Estonia and Lithuania. It also offers unsecured consumer loans for e-shops in Estonia.The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is the main pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe. It provides first loss guarantees enabling the EIB to invest in more, often riskier projects. The projects and agreements approved for financing under EFSI are expected to mobilise more than EUR 458.8bn in investment, supporting over 1 million start-ups and SMEs across the 27 EU Member States.

About the Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility (CCS)

The Creative Europe programme (2014-2020)  and EFSI of the European Commission earmarked €251 million to a financial mechanism acting as insurance to financial intermediaries offering financing to cultural and creative sector initiatives. The programme is expected to create €2 billion in loans and other financial products through a catalyst effect. In addition, financial intermediaries receive training to better understand the needs of cultural and creative sector projects, with a view to increasing their engagement with the sectors. The guarantee scheme is managed by the EIF, on behalf of the European Commission, and aims at strengthening cultural and creative sectors companies’ financial capacity and competitiveness.