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European Guarantee Fund: Almi gets European backing to support Swedish SMEs

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    Date: 19 March 2021

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Almi have signed two guarantee agreements under the “European Guarantee Fund” – part of the EU’s €540 billion rescue package – to enable increased lending to Swedish small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with sustainable growth potential.

The two guarantee agreements, worth nearly SEK 1.5 billion in total, will back portfolios of new lending to SME by Almi for up to SEK 2.85 billion. The transaction allows Almi to provide EU-guaranteed loans to strengthen and stimulate small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in their development and sustainable growth, out of the ongoing crisis. Overall, the operation with Almi will improve access to financing for entrepreneurs in Sweden, especially towards early stage businesses who face difficulties in accessing funding for sustainable and viable business ideas, due to the higher risk.

This is yet another example of European finance at work to help small businesses out of the pandemic.” said EIF Chief Executive Alain Godard. “The EGF is a truly pan-European initiative, and we’re glad to build on our longstanding relationship with Almi to support SMEs in Sweden in these tough times. Europe works best when it works together, and through this pan-European Guarantee Fund, the EIF is honoured to be part of that collaboration.”

“The EGF guarantee agreements are instrumental in ensuring financing from Almi towards the SME sector in Sweden during the pandemic and its aftermath. Almi highly values the constructive collaboration with the EIF and our common goal to support SMEs on their sustainable growth and development path.” said Sara Brandt Almi Head of Business area Företagspartner.

Previously, Almi and the EIF have collaborated under EU-programmes such as EaSI and InnovFin, to make available over €265 million in support of 1,218 innovative SMEs, as well as nearly €138 million in support of 7,581 Swedish micro entreprises. In order to address the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, Almi will now use the EGF instrument in order to continue supporting SMEs in Sweden.

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 businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth and employment.

Almi invests in future sustainable growth. The company offers loans, venture capital and business development services to the SME sector in Sweden. Almi focuses on companies with a sustainable growth ambition and works with early stage start-ups as well as established companies in an expansion phase. Almi is owned by the Swedish state and regions and has 40 offices across the country.

The European Guarantee Fund (EGF) was set up by the EIB Group with contributions from Sweden and other EU Member States to shield companies suffering from the COVID-19 crisis. Using nearly €25 billion in guarantees, the EGF allows the EIB and the EIF to quickly make loans, guarantees, asset-backed securities, equity and other financial instruments available to mostly small and medium-sized enterprises. The EGF is part of the European Union’s recovery package aiming to provide a total of €540 billion to boost those parts of the EU economy that have been hit the worst.

Press contacts:

EIB Group: Tim Smit, tel.: +352 691 28 64 23, t.smit@eib.org, Follow us on Twitter and Instagram
Website: www.eib.org/press - Press Office: +352 4379 21000 – press@eib.org
  

Almi: Lars Mårdbrant, +46 70 3143434, lars.mardbrant@almi.se

 

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