-European Investment Fund (EIF) and Vaekstfonden sign new agreement under the Investment Plan for Europe, or Juncker Plan;
-The pilot programme aims to generate DKK 300 million (c. €40 million) in new financing for almost 80 SMEs in the cultural and creative sectors in Denmark also supported by the EU budget under the “Creative Europe” Programme.
The European Investment Fund and Vaekstfonden have signed a counter-guarantee agreement for Danish SMEs, supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments, EFSI, the heart of the Investment Plan, the Juncker Plan.
The guarantee agreement will allow Vaekstfonden to widen its financing options to Danish SMEs most in need of fresh funding in the cultural and creative sectors. Vaekstfonden will support currently underserved sub-sectors including for example design, visual arts, books, music, architecture and cultural activities, with DKK 300 million (c. €40 million) of loans over three years.
In total, around 80 SMEs in the cultural and creative sectors are expected to obtain access to finance as a result of this new agreement which is also supported by the Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility under the EU's Creative Europe programme.
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society said: "Europe is recognised throughout the world for its cultural wealth, but the full potential of its cultural and creative industries for job creation and growth remains untapped. It is high time to reverse that trend. This is why I welcome this agreement under the Juncker Plan, which will allow creative Danish businesses to access the financing they need to express their talents as well as create value and jobs.”
EIF Chief Executive, Pier Luigi Gilibert, said: “This first agreement in Denmark supported by the EU guarantee helps Vaekstfonden to significantly increase lending volumes to SMEs in the cultural and creative sectors. Access to finance is often limited for companies in the cultural and creative sectors, and these new agreements will help Vaekstfonden to target new support for this sector.”
Rolf Kjærgaard, Chief Investment Officer at Vaekstfonden said: “We are very pleased to have signed this new agreement with EIF that will allow us to ensure further financing for Danish SMEs in the creative and cultural sectors. Denmark has a strong tradition in these fields, and with the backing from EIF we can deepen our engagement with these sectors to provide more loans to promising creative businesses in Denmark.”
The creative and cultural sectors represent more than 7 million jobs in the EU and account for 4.2% of the EU's GDP (source). Access to finance can be difficult to obtain for companies active within these sectors, primarily due to the intangible nature of their assets and collateral, the limited size of the market, uncertainty about demand, and lack of financial intermediary expertise in addressing sector specificities.
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. www.eif.org
Vaekstfonden is the Danish state’s investment fund that contributes to the creation of new companies by providing capital and expertise. Since 1992, Vaekstfonden has together with private investors co-financed growth in more than 7,300 Danish companies with a total commitment of more than DKK 22.5 billion. Vaekstfonden invests equity and provides loans and guarantees for small and medium-sized enterprises in collaboration with private partners and Danish financial institutions. www.vf.dk.
About the Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility and Creative Europe
Set up under the cross-sectoral strand of the Creative Europe programme, the Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility is the first EU investment instrument with such a wide scope in the culture and creative sectors. Creative Europe is a 7-year programme (2014-2020) which has a budget of €1.46 billion for the duration of the period. The objective of Creative Europe is to promote cultural diversity, encourage the circulation of European culture and creativity and strengthen the competitiveness of the cultural and creative sectors.
About the Juncker Plan
The Investment Plan for Europe, the Juncker Plan, focuses on boosting investments to create jobs and growth by making smarter use of new and existing financial resources, removing obstacles to investment and providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects. The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is the central pillar of the Juncker Plan. It provides a first loss guarantee, allowing the EIB group to invest in more, often riskier, projects. The projects and agreements approved for financing under the EFSI so far are expected to mobilise €380 billion in investments, including €4.7 billion in Denmark, and support around 7842,000 SMEs across all 28 Member States. The latest figures on EFSI by sector and country can be found here.