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EUR 25 million of loans for cultural and creative SMEs in Belgium

    Date: 19 March 2018

The European Investment Fund has signed guarantee agreements with PMV and ST’ART SA, two finance providers in Belgium, supported by the new Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility under the EU's Creative Europe programme.

These guarantee agreements will allow PMV and ST’ART SA to widen their financing options to Belgian SMEs perceived to be high-risk in the cultural and creative sectors. The finance providers will target currently underserved sub-sectors including design, visual arts, music, architecture and cultural activities, with EUR 25 million of loans over three years, covered by the Guarantee Facility.

In total, more than 140 SMEs in the cultural and creative sectors are expected to obtain access to finance as a result of this new Guarantee Facility. This agreement was made possible with the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the central pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe, the Juncker Plan.

EIF Chief Executive, Pier Luigi Gilibert, said: “I am delighted that we are announcing the first two transactions in Belgium with PMV and ST’ART under the Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility. Access to finance is very often limited for companies in the cultural and creative sectors and these new agreements will help both institutions to increase their lending activity.”

Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, and Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, said: "Culture and the creative sectors build bridges between art, business and technology. They are a catalyst for innovation and foster risk-taking attitudes, which are key in building resilience. Helping these companies scale up and stimulate creativity is high on the European Commission's agenda. Thanks to these two agreements under the Creative Europe programme, we will enable Belgium's creative industries to contribute even more to job creation and economic growth."

Philippe Muyters, Flemish Minister for Work, Economy, Innovation and Sports and Michel Casselman, General Manager of PMV, said We aim to stimulate entrepreneurship and professionalism in all sectors, including in the cultural and creative industries, which are sometimes a less evident choice. PMV already targets these sectors, but thanks to the support from Europe we are now better able to share the risks and offer more opportunities for creative entrepreneurs to launch their ideas and assess their compatibility with the market.”

Rudy Demotte, Minister-President of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation and Renaud Witmeur, President of the Board of Directors of ST’ART said: “This is really an innovation for the cultural and creative sectors in Belgium and ST’ART is ready to boost its loan activity thanks to the guarantee facility giving a real chance to entrepreneurs.”

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.

About 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. www.eif.org

About PMV

PMV is a ‘do and dare’ company that is shaping the future of the Flemish economy. PMV provides finance for promising businesses, from their very start, through their various growth stages and even on to operating internationally. Working with and for the government and other partners, PMV implements projects that are important for prosperity and wellbeing in Flanders. www.pmv.eu


Since 2010, ST’ART is the leader in financing culture and creativity through loans and equity in Brussels and Wallonia. With more than EUR 10 million already invested in diverse sub-sectors, this new guarantee facility will boost its investments through the extension of its products, including the FIRST STEP for primo entrepreneurs and PRET CULTURE, a new financing line for the strategic development of cultural institutions. www.start-invest.be

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. Creative Europe is a 7-year programme (2014-2020) which has a budget of EUR 1.46 billion for the duration of the period. 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.

About the Juncker Plan

The Investment Plan for Europe, the Juncker Plan focuses on boosting investments to create jobs and growth by making smarter use of new and existing financial resources, removing obstacles to investment and providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects. The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is the central pillar of the Juncker Plan. It provides a first loss guarantee, allowing the EIB group to invest in more, often riskier, projects. The projects and agreements approved for financing under the EFSI so far are expected to mobilise more than EUR 264 billion in investments and support around 589,000 SMEs across all 28 Member States. The latest figures on EFSI by sector and country can be found here.

Press contacts:

David Yormesor

Tel.: +352 24 85 81 346
e-mail: d.yormesor@eif.org

Ben Jehaes
Tel: +32 (0)4 95 54 78 40
e-mail: ben.jehaes@pmv.eu,

Virginie Civrais
E-mail: virginie.civrais@start-invest.be

Fédération Wallonie- Bruxelles:
Delphine Van Bladel

Tel: +32 (0)4 76 60 02 61
e-mail: delphine.vanbladel@gov.cfwb.be  

European Commission:
Nathalie Vandystadt
Tel: +32 229-67083
e-mail: Nathalie.Vandystadt@ec.europa.eu


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