This novel and comprehensive set of complementary measures for improving access to finance for SMEs and assisting economic development in the Western Balkans has been launched in collaboration with the European Investment Fund, the European Commission and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The Innovation Fund initiated and is representing Republic of Serbia in this EUR 145 million regional program.
The WB EDIF will promote the emergence and growth of innovative and high-potential companies, as well as the creation of a regional venture capital markets.
WB EDIF is coordinated by the European Investment Fund and implemented in close cooperation with the governments of the Western Balkans, the European Commission, the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Objectives of the program are to set four complementary components for small and medium enterprises (SME) tailor-made financing:
- Enterprise Innovation Fund (ENIF): early development stage equity financing in innovative SMEs;
- Enterprise Expansion Fund (ENEF): provision of development and expansion capital to established high-growth potential SMEs;
- Regional Guarantee Facility: improvement of SMEs access to bank lending and lowering the cost of borrowing, by providing SME loan portfolio guarantees to financial intermediaries;
- Creation of a favorable regulatory environment for innovative and high-potential SMEs: this will be done through a Technical Assistance Facility supporting beneficiary governments in implementation of priority reforms.