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InvestEU unlocks €350m in potential funding

The European Commission (EC) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have launched a €100m top-up for the InvestEU programme.

Announced this week by the EC, the new project will be known as HERA Invest and will work to support research and development – focusing especially on health emergency prevention and preparedness. The instrument is geared towards small and mid-sized companies that develop medical countermeasures addressing pathogens with pandemic or epidemic potential; chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats originating from accidental or deliberate release; and antimicrobial resistance.

“We face immense investment needs over the coming years in order to achieve our common EU objectives, which include building a strong social Europe,” said Paolo Gentiloni, commissioner for the economy. “And InvestEU is an invaluable tool to support progress in this direction, fostering and sustaining businesses and jobs, including in the social economy. I am proud that, thanks to this agreement, we are strengthening our cooperation with the Council of Europe Development Bank [CEB], supporting growth and social inclusion.”

Through HERA Invest, the EIB will provide venture loans, covering a maximum of 50% of total project costs. There is a rolling application process.

Social enterprise

Also announced under the InvestEU programme this week has been €250m of new investment in affordable social housing, education and training. Backed by the CEB, the finance will also look to back microfinance and social enterprise finance sectors.

This will be split between five projects, including a framework to make €100m in CEB financing available to microfinance organisations across the entire European Union. The other four projects are for affordable housing and social enterprise programmes in Ireland, France and Spain.

InvestEU has featured regularly in Expert Investor this year. Six weeks ago, it was announced that Iceland and Norway had become its first non-EU members. And in May, it was part of a move by the European Investment Fund (EIF) and UniCredit, which looked to channel €1bn to 2,500 small-to-medium enterprises across central and eastern Europe.

That deal will see the EIF provide two guarantees worth around €370m to UniCredit Group to finance some €1bn of investment made by small businesses in Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. The transactions are backed by InvestEU.

Pete Carvill

Pete Carvill is a reporter, writer, and editor based in Berlin who has been writing for the B2B and mainstream media since 2007. He is a contributing writer for Expert Investor and, in addition, has...

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