On 30th June 2016 the European Commission and the European Investment fund (EIF) launched a € 121 million guarantee initiative to support SMEs in the cultural and creative sectors via financial institutions.

Set-up under the cross-sectoral strand of the Creative Europe programme, this initiative allows the EIF to provide guarantees and counter-guarantees to selected financial intermediaries in order to enable them to provide more debt finance to entrepreneurs in the cultural and creative arena.

It is expected that the guarantee institutions, commercial and promotional banks as well as other financial intermediaries benefiting from the guarantee will support more than 10.000 SMEs in a wide range of sectors such as audio-visual, festivals, music, literature, architecture, archives, libraries and museums, artistic crafts, cultural heritage, design, performing arts, publishing, radio and visual arts.
The project also includes capacity building activities for financial intermediaries in order to give them specific expertise on key elements of these sectors.
In the coming days, the EIF will publish a call for expression of interest to which eligible financial institutions will be able to apply. After a selection process the intermediaries will be selected and then they will be able to make the new finance available to SMEs in the targeted sectors.

The SMEs should benefit from this instrument as early as of the end of 2016 and according to the previsions it is expected to create more than € 600 million worth of bank loans over the next six years.

Cultural and creative sector guarantee facility - CCSGF

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