WB EDIF is an EU funded initiative which aims at increasing the financial resources made available to SMEs based in the Western Balkans, as well as support services for private sector development, to support socio-economic development and EU accession across the Region.
WB EDIF was launched in December 2012 by the European Commission, the EIF, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB), acting as co-lead international financial institutions.
The EUR 145 million of initial capital pulled together under WB EDIF may translate into about EUR 300 million of finance benefitting SMEs based in the Western Balkan countries.
What is WB EDIF’s geographical reach?
WB EDIF targets SMEs based in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo*, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.
How does WB EDIF work?
WB EDIF does not support entrepreneurs directly but provides funding to local financial intermediaries via debt and equity products as well as support services - e.g. venture capital funds, guarantee schemes including mutual guarantee organisations, micro-finance institutions and any other financial institution providing finance to SMEs established and operating in one or several of the Western Balkan countries mentioned above.
WB EDIF, which is coordinated by the European Investment Fund (EIF), consists of four pillars:
- WB EDIF Guarantee Facility (WB EDIF GF II)
WB EDIF GF II was signed between the EIF and the European Commission in December 2015 following the successful implementation of the first Guarantee Facility (WB EDIF I). Launched in 2013, WB EDIF I was greeted with high demand from the market, leading to the full allocation of the resources. Similarly to WB EDIF GF, WB EDIF GF II provides guarantees to eligible Financial Intermediaries established and operating in one or several Western Balkan countries to encourage them to build up new portfolios of SME transactions and thereby improving access to finance to SMEs in the Western Balkans countries.
Financial intermediaries were selected on the basis of a Call for Expression of Interest process, which closed on 30.06.2014.
- Enterprise Innovation Fund (ENIF)
ENIF supports innovative SMEs in the Western Balkans in their early and expansion stage by providing equity finance through local funds management companies.
Eligible Fund Managers were selected on the basis of a Call of Expression of Interest process which closed on 14.06.2013. South Central Ventures was awarded with the role of ENIF Fund Manager as a result of this process.
- Enterprise Expansion Fund (ENEF)
Managed and advised by EBRD, ENEF supports the expansion of SMEs with a high-growth potential established in the Western Balkans.
- Support Services Facility
Governments of the Western Balkan countries can obtain technical assistance under WB EDIF to implement policy reforms in order to create a favourable regulatory environment to benefit innovative and high-growth SMEs in the region.
For further information about WB EDIF, please visit www.wbedif.eu
*Kosovo: this designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence)
For SMEs :