£100 million agreement for innovative and high growth UK companies

The agreement is supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI), an initiative under the Investment Plan for Europe, jointly set-up by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank Group to mobilise private investment to help to overcome the current investment gap.

European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: “There is a thriving start-up scene in the UK and this agreement under the Investment Plan for Europe will give those start-ups a helping hand. The Investment Plan is well underway and already helping small businesses grow.”

Karl Nolson, Head of Debt Finance, Barclays, commented: “The UK economy needs innovation and innovators need finance. In offering Innovation Finance it enables us to provide additional funding solutions, supporting more businesses in the UK and the potential to be future blue-chip companies.”

The loans will be backed by a guarantee of the EIF, enabled by the InnovFin initiative with financial backing from the Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme.

The InnovFin SME Guarantee works with banks and other financial institutions to lend to SMEs and small mid-caps (firms with less than 500 employees) in need of investment or operating capital to fund R&D and innovation activities.

This is one of the first transactions approved by the EIF which will benefit from an EU guarantee under the EFSI. This deal has been signed before the EFSI is formally established, reflecting the EIB Group’s commitment to respond swiftly to calls from Member States, the European Commission and the European Parliament.