EU culture: new financial instrument for cultural and creative SMEs

“Cultural and creative sectors are the backbone of European diversity and significant contributors to its economic development. The European Union, through the Creative Europe programme, is highly committed to help companies finance their innovative projects and stimulate the European creativity and cultural initiatives. These agreements are excellent news both for companies in France and across Europe. With this first cross-border transaction under the Guarantee Facility we hope to build partnerships across Europe so that more European film producers can benefit from the backing of this financial instrument.” Said Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel.

The European Investment Fund and the French Institut pour le Financement du Cinéma et des Industries Culturelles (IFCIC) signed today in France two guarantee agreements to support more than €130 million worth of loans for cultural and creative SMEs. The agreements are part of the EU’s Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility which was launched last year under the Creative Europe programme. The Guarantee Facility recently received additional funding through the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) (read more here).The first agreement is a direct guarantee which allows IFCIC to substantially increase its loan volumes to support French SMEs in the cultural and creative sectors, reaching out to currently underserved sub-sectors including performing arts, visual effects, publishing and fashion design, to support a portfolio of more than €40 million of loans over the next two years. The second is a counter-guarantee agreement. It is the first cross-border transaction under the Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility targeting film producers across the programme’s participating countries aiming at supporting a portfolio of more than €90 million of loans to European film and TV production. In total, more than 300 SMEs in the cultural and creative sectors are expected to obtain access to finance as a result of this new Guarantee Facility.

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