EIB-ICO loan: EUR 1 billion support for microenterprises and SMEs
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted a EUR 500 million loan to Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO) with the aim of supporting the small-scale projects of self-employed entrepreneurs and microenterprises (firms with 10 or fewer employees). ICO will match the EIB loan with a further EUR 500 million, meaning that a total of EUR 1 billion will be pumped into the microenterprise and self-employed sector.
At the signing ceremony, EIB Vice-President Román Escolano underlined "the Bank¿s commitment to supporting SMEs, especially small businesses, which will provide a major boost to economic growth and job creation in Spain. At the same time, I am pleased to point out that, with this operation, and others signed in the past few years, ICO is confirming its position as one of the EIB Group¿s principal partners in the whole of Europe".
ICO¿s CEO, Emma Navarro, added that "with the signing of this loan, the first of this type signed with the EIB, ICO is reaffirming its clear support for Spanish SMEs, and especially the smaller firms that make up more than 95% of the business fabric in Spain. Once again, the signing of this loan testifies to the close cooperation between our two institutions and underlines the EIB¿s contribution to the Spanish economy".
This credit line is the EIB¿s first operation signed with ICO aimed specifically at the self-employed and microenterprises, two business sectors hit particularly hard over the past few years, for financing small-scale projects in industry and services. The projects eligible for financing under this credit line will mainly be located in Spain, and 20% of the funding will be earmarked for projects situated in convergence regions, where SMEs are an essential pillar of employment.
The EIB loan will provide small businesses and the self-employed with funding on advantageous interest rate and maturity terms.