EU commits to unlocking €750 million in funds to boost small businesses in the Western Balkans News | WeBalkans


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EU commits to unlocking €750 million in funds to boost small businesses in the Western Balkans

The European Union (EU) is unlocking €750 million to help small and medium businesses in the Western Balkans. This money is to make it easier for small and medium-sized companies to get loans and grow, even when facing a difficult economic environment.

Thanks to the €60 million guarantee businesses can borrow money at better conditions, which will help them grow, create jobs, and boost the economy in this region. Since 2013, the EU has supported over 67,000 companies and around 900,000 jobs in the Western Balkans through the European Investment Fund. In total, since 2006, the EU channelled €600 million through financial institutions, which led to €6 billion loans at better conditions for businesses.
Recently, the European Investment Fund made deals with 11 banks throughout the Western Balkans. These deals will let businesses get over €750 million in loans..

The plan is to give around €750 million in loans to about 13,000 small businesses, which could support around 180,000 jobs. This initiative is a big step and may lead to 20 more guarantees under the Western Balkans Guarantee Facility. This shows that such efforts can bring in private investment and help the EU’s plan for economic growth and investment.

EIF Chief Executive Marjut Falkstedt from the European Investment Fund said these funds would help build strong local economies and help them play a bigger part in the world market.
Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi added that these loans will have good terms, like lower interest rates and less need for collateral. This is important because many businesses need loans now, but it’s hard to get them. They hope this money will lead to over €750 million in loans.


The European Investment Fund (EIF) is an integral part of the European Investment Bank Group, dedicated to supporting Europe’s micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises by facilitating their access to finance. The EIF is instrumental in promoting EU objectives related to innovation, research, and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment.

The Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) serves as a cooperation platform that enhances investment harmonization and socioeconomic development in the Western Balkans. It integrates EU and bilateral donor grants with financing from international financial institutions, playing a key role in the execution of the EU’s €30 billion Economic and Investment Plan for the region.

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