27 May 2009 – The European Investment Fund (EIF) Chief Executive, Mr. Richard Pelly and Bulgarian Minister of Economy and Energy, Mr. Petar Dimitrov, today signed a EUR 200m JEREMIE Holding Fund agreement in support of Small and Medium sized Enterprises in Bulgaria.
The Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises initiative, known as JEREMIE, is a joint initiative of the European Commission with the European Investment Fund which aims to facilitate access to finance for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). Following the EUR 200m signing in Bulgaria the EIF will manage over EUR 1 billion euros through JEREMIE Holding Funds across the European Union using Structural Funds to bring a new sustainable approach to SME financing.
The EIF, Chief Executive Richard Pelly said “This agreement demonstrates our commitment to provide support for the competitiveness and growth of the Bulgarian economy. We are proud to be using the new Holding Fund to share risks with a number of Bulgarian Financial Intermediaries who are providing much needed extra finance to SMEs at this critical time. We are convinced that through this partnership we will be able to design and implement a variety of revolving financial instruments for the long term benefit of SMEs across Bulgaria.”
Minister of the Economy and Energy, Mr Petar Dimitrov said “We are delighted to be working with the European Investment Fund and to benefit from their expertise and market experience in SME finance. This know-how combined with our local knowledge will help to bring lasting benefits to the financial sector in Bulgaria and through them to SMEs across the country.”
Dirk Ahner, Director General of the Directorate General for Regional Policy in the European Commission added “I am extremely pleased to see that Bulgaria is using all the investment possibilities offered by the EU Cohesion Policy. The JEREMIE fund is a form of financing which is more sustainable over the long-term compared to one-off grants. It will help to bridge existing financial gaps in accessing credit for SMEs a must to beat the current crisis”.
JEREMIE (Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises) is a joint initiative launched by the European Commission (DG Regio) and the EIB group to improve access to finance for SMEs in the EU within the Structural Funds framework for the period 2007 – 2013. JEREMIE enables the EU Member States and Regions to put money from the structural funds and also national resources into holding funds that can finance SMEs in a flexible and innovative way. Since the products will be provided on a repayment basis, funding will be reinvested and hence more SMEs will benefit from the EU resources.
The new initiative aims at developing and fostering the role of entrepreneurship within the EU in order to meet the objectives of the Lisbon agenda and help structural funds to deliver greater benefits to the market.