€121 million guarantee intiative to support cultural and creative sectors

Creative Europe launches €121m guarantee facility

The European Commission and the European Investment Fund (EIF) have launched a €121 million guarantee initiative to support SMEs in the cultural and creative sectors via financial institutions. This scheme is expected to create more than €600 million worth of bank loans over the next six years.

Set up under the cross-sectoral strand of the Creative Europe programme, the initiative will provide guarantees for the banks that will in return offer more affordable loans specifically to companies in cultural and creative sectors. It is expected that around 10,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in a wide range of sectors including audiovisual (film, television, animation, video games and multimedia), festivals, music, literature, architecture, archives, libraries and museums, artistic crafts, cultural heritage, design, performing arts, publishing, radio and visual arts will benefit.

In the coming days, the EIF will publish a call for expression of interest to which eligible financial institutions (banks, guarantee institutions, leasing companies, etc.) will be able to apply. After a thorough selection process, the EIF will select financial intermediaries which can then make the new finance available to SMEs in the targeted sectors. Financial intermediaries will report thoroughly on the financial products they will propose to SMEs and their take-up.

SMEs in the cultural and creative sectors, established and operating in EU Member States, Iceland and Norway are eligible to benefit from the new loans to be offered by the banks which join this scheme. The facility is not accessible to other countries participating in the Creative Europe programme (candidate countries, potential candidate countries, neighbourhood countries).   

The creative and cultural sectors represent more than 7 million jobs in the EU and account for 4.2% of the EU's GDP. Access to finance can be difficult for these sectors, primarily due to the intangible nature of their assets and collateral, the limited size of the market, demand uncertainty, and lack of financial intermediary expertise in addressing sector specificities.

Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society Günther H. Oettinger welcomed the initiative:

"Creative minds and companies need to experiment and take risks to thrive, for our society and for our economy. We are helping them to get the bank loans they would normally not get."

For more information and a list of FAQs visit the European Commission website.