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EU-guaranteed loans to strengthen Sweden's cultural entrepreneurs

    Date: 03 October 2019
  • Marginalen Bank launches ”Kreatörslånet” with EIF-backing under Creative Europe and the European Fund for Strategic Investments of the Juncker Plan
  • Loans of up to SEK 1 million for entrepreneurs in the creative and cultural sectors
  • Total of SEK 200 million available for entrepreneurs, guaranteed up to 70% by the EIF

Marginalen Bank is the first bank in Sweden to offer EU-guaranteed loans to companies in the cultural and creative sectors (CCS), the so-called Kreatörslånet (“the creators' loan”), for entrepreneurs who may previously have been excluded from traditional bank financing. The loan offers the possibility to borrow up to SEK 1 million (approx. EUR 92.300), with the European Investment Fund (EIF) guaranteeing 70 percent of the loan amount under the Juncker Plan’s European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). This reduces the collateral requirements of the entrepreneur.

Sweden is a prominent entrepreneurial and cultural nation, known for music, design, architecture, fashion, art and video game development. These groups have had big difficulties to finance their companies, but through the guarantee and “Kreatörslånet”, they now have new opportunities to develop their creative ideas, activities and companies. This will in the longer run contribute to growth and increased employment.” says Ewa Glennow, CEO of Marginalen Bank.

Reports from, among others, the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth (such as the 2019 Ge plats på Scen!) show that entrepreneurs within the cultural and creative sectors see the lack of funding as a significant obstacle for growth and internationalisation. That is the reason why the EU, through the European Investment Fund (EIF), has established the loan guarantee under the programme Creative Europe, which has already been implemented in several European countries. Entrepreneurs in certain creative sectors are more often dependent on public funding and grants. Collateral in these companies is usually more difficult to assess, which has led to difficulties in obtaining bank financing, a situation that should improve with this guarantee agreement.

Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel, said: "Sweden is the 10th country to join the Cultural and Creative Sector Guarantee Facility and I am delighted by this development, which will enable much easier access to financing for plenty of creative projects. Cultural and creative industries are at the heart of our economy, generating considerable wealth, stimulating progress and fostering diversity, heritage as well as our shared sense of European identify and values. Therefore, we must support them in all possible ways."

Pier Luigi Gilibert, EIF Chief Executive, added: “Sweden is not only known as an innovative country, but also has a world-leading position in the cultural and creative sectors. As everywhere in Europe, there is still a need to increase the access to finance for these entrepreneurs, and I am very pleased to have signed the first Swedish guarantee agreement with Marginalen Bank. The guarantee creates an opportunity for the rest of Europe to enjoy new, exciting Swedish music, art and other creative expressions.”

Marginalen Bank's total possible lending within the framework of the guarantee amounts to SEK 200 million (EUR 18.46 million) and the portfolio is intended to be built up within a three-year period. The total budget amount committed to Marginalen Bank in the context of the CCS programme amounts to SEK 35 million (EUR 3.23 million). The guarantee is the fourth EIF programme granted to Marginalen Bank and is a central part of the long-term strategy in helping Swedish SMEs to grow and develop.

Facts about ”Kreatörslånet”

  • Corporate loans for cultural and creative sectors
  • Loan amount: Up to 1,000,000 SEK
  • Security: 70 % of the individual loan is guaranteed by the EIF under the CCS guarantee

Facts about Culture and Creative sectors in Sweden
According to The Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, CCS in Sweden had a total turnover of about SEK 385 billion in 2016 and employed 187,000 people.

Background information:

About Marginalen Bank
Marginalen Bank Bankaktiebolag (publ) is part of ESCO Marginalen's consolidated situation and is subject to supervision by the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority. Marginalen Bank, which is certified according to ISO 9001:2015 offers private individuals and businesses simple, clear bank services within the fields of lending, savings, payment cards and insurance. Marginalen Bank's savings accounts are covered by the state deposit guarantee. The Group also includes Marginalen Core, which offers businesses and authorities services in Law, Collections, Financial administration and HR. Marginalen Bank is in turn the parent company in the Group formed in conjunction with the acquisition of the subsidiaries Sergel Finans AB, Sergel Finans Oy and Sergel Finans AS from Telia Company in June 2017. The finance companies own and manage credit portfolios in their respective countries. Marginalen Bank has approximately 350 employees in its offices in Stockholm, Borås and Sundsvall. Owner is the parent company Marginalen AB.

About the EIF
The EIF is a multilateral development bank owned by the European Investment Bank - EIB, the EU and 24 European banks. The EIF's operations are aimed at increasing the opportunities to help enterprises obtain financing, which over time can create more jobs within the EU.

About the European Union’s programme for cultural and creative sectors

Creative Europe is a 7-year programme (2014-2020) designed to support the creative and cultural sectors. The aim 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. The guarantee facility forms a part of the Creative Europe programme. It helps creative SMEs to scale up their businesses through easier access to finance. The total budget available under CCS was backed up by funds under the EFSI.

About the Juncker Plan

The Investment Plan for Europe, the so-called Juncker Plan, is one of the European Commission's top priorities. It 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 to invest in more, often riskier, projects. The projects and agreements approved for financing under the EFSI so far are expected to mobilise EUR 433.2 billion in investments and support around 972,000 SMEs across all 28 Member States.

For more information, contact:

Anders Karlström
Head of Communication
+46 707353677

Tim Smit
+352 691 286423

European Commission:
Siobhan Millbright
Tel: +32 (0) 229 57361


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