The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (BGK) have announced that they are doubling their support for loans to a total of 4 bilion zloty for over 18,000 small businesses and entrepreneurs across Poland. The agreement is part of the COSME programme, the European Commission’s programme for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), supported by the Investment Plan for Europe, the Juncker Plan.
Previous agreements with the EIF – signed in 2015, amended and restated in 2017 – helped BGK to launch a new and effective guarantee product and to support additional financing for SMEs, without requiring hard collateral (such as a mortgage) at favourable conditions. Over the past three years, BGK has already supported more than 7,000 SMEs and entrepreneurs through COSME guarantees. Today’s top-up agreement will allow banks cooperating with BGK to continue providing loans with BGK’s guarantees with substantially reduced collateral requirements. The agreement has the backing of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), which is the central pillar of the Juncker Plan.
The increase was announced during the AECM annual meeting in Warsaw. Speaking at the signature ceremony, EIF Deputy Chief Executive, Roger Havenith said: “We are delighted with the success of the COSME EFSI transactions with BGK in Poland and pleased to be announcing an increase for additional SMEs today. The increased demand for SME loans with reduced collateral requirements, demonstrates the need for EU support for Polish companies. I am convinced that the continuous cooperation with BGK – EIF’s long-term partner – will ensure that many more Polish entrepreneurs with limited access to finance will be able to grow their businesses and create new jobs.”
BGK President, Beata Daszyńska-Muzyczka said: “BGK joined the AECM in 2009, when the annual value of guarantees granted amounted to EUR 10 million. This year, we plan to provide them 250 times more – up to 2.5 billion euros. For years, BGK has created conditions for the development of Polish entrepreneurs, and we know from experience that the guarantee is the most effective instrument to support them. We are pleased that thanks to the cooperation with EIF, it will be possible to double the support for such a large group of small and medium enterprises.”
EU Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Elżbieta Bieńkowska said: “Less than a year ago, BGK signed an agreement with the European Investment Fund to double their support to SMEs in Poland with the backing of the EU’s budgetary guarantee, and today this is being doubled once again. Thanks to our joint efforts and enhanced co-operation with BGK we have provided small businesses with access to finance: already 7000 SMEs have benefitted from this Polish-EU cooperation. Europe’s economy depends upon its entrepreneurs. Keep up the good work.”