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The SME Guarantee Facility of the Growth & Employment Initiative

The SME Guarantee Facility is part of the European Commission's Growth & Employment Initiative and is aimed to increase the availability of loans to small or newly established firms through risk sharing with national guarantee schemes, mutual guarantee schemes and other appropriate institutions, including the European Investment Bank (EIB). The full costs of the guarantees will be met from the budget. The size of the guarantees will be set contractually and could amount to 5-10% of the original face value of the underlying loans. An indicative figure of Euro 150-190 million is envisaged for this scheme over the period 1998-2000 (Euro 50 million in 1998). The SME Guarantee Facility, by targeting businesses involving a comparatively high element of risk, complements the operations of the EIB and the EIF.

The SME Guarantee Facility is managed on behalf of the European Commission by the European Investment Fund .

Innovative SMEs willing to benefit from the SME Guarantee Facility will have to contact directly the financial intermediaries which are selected by the EIF or they can first seek guidance on innovation financing sources and how to prepare for them from the Gate2Growth Initiative .

  List of Financial Institutions participating in the SME Guarantee Programme

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