Loans secured by a guarantee from the EDIF program

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and UniCredit Bank Serbia JSC, have signed a guarantee agreement to support Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Serbia under the Western Balkan Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility (WB EDIF). This financing benefits from the guarantee issued under the Western Balkan Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility financed by the European Union.

This program is designed to support SMEs in order to enable easier access to finance by obtaining lower prices of loans and relaxed conditions when taking collateral. The aim of this program is to stimulate investment in the sector of small and medium enterprises in order to increase the impact of these companies that have great influence on the development of the economy in total.



The Western Balkan Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility (WB EDIF) promotes the emergence and growth of innovative and high-potential companies, as well as the creation of a regional Venture Capital market.

The main goals of this Facility are to improve access to finance for SMEs, as well as, to establish four complementary mechanisms of support for SMEs:

  • Enterprise Innovation Fund (ENIF) – venture capital fund financing innovative SMEs in the start-up phase
  • Enterprise Expansion Fund (ENEF) – private equity fund focusing on established SMEs with high growth potential,
  • Guarantee Facility (GF) – which will significantly improve opportunities for SMEs to access funds from bank, as well as potentially reducing the costs of borrowing.
  • Technical Assistance (TA Facility), which aims to improve the regulatory framework for supporting innovative SMEs with high growth potential, as well as to stimulate the venture capital market.

European Investment Fund

European Investment Fund (EIF) established in 1994, is a European Union agency for the provision of finance to SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises).The European Investment Fund's (EIF) 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.

Eligible products are investment and working capital financing (revolving is not allowed)

  • Maximum SME exposure is EUR 500,000 (or equivalent in local currency)
  • Agreed portfolio volume on bank level is EUR 30mln out of which EUR 20 mln in Corporate and EUR 10mln in Retail business segment
  • Repayment schedule amortizing or bullet
  • Maturity:
    • Minimum 12 months
    • Maximum on or before 31st May 2023 (including grace, if any)
  • The SME shall not be a Start-up (Bank definition of Start-up shall be applied)

Not eligible for the EIF Line

  • Gambling and related equipment
  • Tobacco manufacturing, processing, or distribution
  • Activities involving live animals for experimental and scientific purposes insofar as compliance with the "Council of Europe’s Convention for the Protection of Vertebrate Animals used for Experimental and other Scientific Purposes" cannot be guaranteed
  • Activities which give rise to environmental impacts that are not largely mitigated and/or compensated
  • Sectors considered ethically or morally controversial, e.g. research on human cloning
  • Pure real estate development activity
  • Production of weapons and ammunition, arms, military or police equipment or infrastructures, and equipment or infrastructure limiting people’s individual rights and freedom (i.e. prisons, detention centres of any form)

Investments must comply with EU Environmental and Procurement legislation.

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