The European Investment Fund and Bpifrance have today signed a guarantee agreement – the first in France supported under the new Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility from the EU's Creative Europe programme.
The European Union's support allows Bpifrance to create a new financing product (Prêt Industries Créatives) which will target a portfolio of EUR 30 million of loans to companies over the next two years. More than 200 SMEs in the cultural and creative sectors (including film, theatre, video game production, music and performance, and editorial sectors) are expected to access this new programme which will be available in June this year.
EIF Chief Executive, Pier Luigi Gilibert said: “I am delighted that we are signing the first Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility agreement in France, with Bpifrance today. Access to finance is very often limited for companies in the cultural and creative sectors and this cooperation with Bpifrance, a long term partner of EIF, will play a significant role in supporting SMEs in these sectors.”
Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, and Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, said: "This agreement is excellent news for cultural and creative SMEs in France. The additional EUR 30 million in financing demonstrates that the Creative Europe programme is effective in helping Europe's dynamic cultural sector to access financing. This supports creativity, jobs and innovation, and champions Europe's most unique asset: its pluralistic and vibrant culture."
Commenting on the operation, Bpifrance Chairman, Nicolas Dufourcq, said: “This new lending program is very good news for businesses in the creative industries whose funding needs are insufficiently covered today. Thanks to the EU guarantee Bpifrance will offer a competitive loan solution and better address the creative sector funding specificities.”
The creative and cultural sectors represent more than 7 million jobs in the EU and account for 4.2% of the EU's GDP (source). Access to finance can be difficult to obtain for companies active within these sectors, primarily due to the intangible nature of their assets and collateral, the limited size of the market, uncertainty about demand, and also lack of financial intermediary expertise in addressing sector specificities.
The new Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility includes capacity building activities for financial intermediaries, giving them specific expertise on key characteristics of these sectors (e.g. specific business models and credit risk assessment in the sectors). This kind of expertise would be provided by (a) capacity building provider(s) selected by the EIF (e.g. consultancies specialised in the way the cultural and creative sectors work) following an open call for tenders. Such support will be free of charge for financial intermediaries.
About the EIF
The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank group. Its central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment.
Bpifrance, a subsidiary of the Caisse des Dépôts (French Consignments and Loans Fund) and the State, a trusted partner of entrepreneurs, supports companies from start-up to stock exchange listing, with credit, collateral and equity. Bpifrance also provides support services and enhanced support for innovation, acquisitions and exports, in partnership with Business France.
Bpifrance offers companies a continuum of funding at each key stage of their development and an offer adapted to regional specificities.
With 47 regional offices (90% of its decisions are taken at the regional level) Bpifrance is a tool of economic competitiveness for entrepreneurs. Bpifrance supports public policies pursued by the French State and by Regional Councils to meet three objectives:
With Bpifrance, companies benefit from an influential, available and effective intermediary to meet all their needs in terms of finance, innovation and investment.
About the Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility and Creative Europe
Set up under the cross-sectoral strand of the Creative Europe programme, the Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility is the first EU investment instrument with such a wide scope in the culture and creative sectors. It pursues the same objective as the SME window of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), which drives the Investment Plan for Europe: increasing lending to SMEs to enable them to scale up their activities.
Creative Europe is a 7-year programme (2014-2020) designed to support the creative and cultural sectors. It has a budget of EUR 1.46 billion for the whole duration of the period. It is composed of the MEDIA sub-programme, helping the development and the distribution of European audiovisual works, the Culture sub-programme, which supports culture sector initiatives promoting for example cross-border cooperation or platforms for emerging artists, and the cross-sectoral strand. The objective of Creative Europe is to promote cultural diversity, encourage the circulation of European culture and creativity and strengthen the competitiveness of the cultural and creative sectors.
EIF: David Yormesor
Tel.: +352 24 85 81 346, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bpifrance: Anne-Sophie Du Faucigny
Tel: + 33 6 46 01 52 86 e-mail: email@example.com
Business contact: Get in touch with Bpifrance key account manager in your region: http://www.bpifrance.fr/Contactez-nous
European Commission: Nathalie Vandystadt
Tel: +32 229-67083, e-mail: Nathalie.Vandystadt@ec.europa.eu