The European Investment Bank (EIB) has partnered with Czechia’s largest bank to deploy €306m in Czech SME support.
The agreement between the EIB, the European Investment Fund and the national bank Česká Spořitelna (ČS) will distribute shares of €306m in Czech SME support between around 250 small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), providing up to 43,000 new jobs for Czech residents. The funding is backed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments with a guarantee of up to €76.5 million, enabling ČS to provide more and longer term financing for SMEs and shoring up co-operation between ČS and the EIB.
Vazil Hudák, Vice President of the EIB, said: “According to the latest EIB Investment Survey, 20% of smaller companies in Czechia have suffered from underinvestment over the last three years. Thanks to this innovative transaction, the EIB and ČS will help some of these companies, especially those with riskier business ideas. This will strengthen the competitiveness of the Czech economy and contribute to economic growth and job creation.”
Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová said: “I very much welcome this agreement, which will create opportunities for Czech entrepreneurs and open up access to the finance they need to generate better-paying jobs and innovate. This is an example of Europe’s strong added-value – by pulling resources together it can offer practical benefits for citizens.”
Pavel Kráčmar, the member of Česká Spořitelna’s Board of Directors responsible for corporate banking and financial markets, said: “Thanks to its long-standing successful cooperation with the European Investment Bank Group, Česká Spořitelna can provide loans with an advantageous interest rate. This loan is designed to target SMEs and MidCaps [companies with between 250 and 3,000 employees], offering financing for investments as well as working capital on very simple terms. This product corresponds precisely to our strategic objective: to help Czech companies and entrepreneurs grow.”