Greece: EUR 500m EIB backing for youth and female focused business investment

  • Follows success of EUR 1.05 billion programme launched in December 2016
  • First-ever EIB gender support for business investment in Greece
  • Tackles youth unemployment following hundreds of jobs supported in earlier scheme
  • Alpha Bank, Eurobank, NBG and Piraeus Bank confirmed partners

The European Investment Bank will work with leading Greek banks to provide EUR 500 million worth of loans for new business investment, including dedicated financing for companies across the country that actively support youth employment and the empowerment of women in the workplace.

The new financing initiative represents the first dedicated support by the European Investment Bank in Greece for companies that support female entrepreneurship and female corporate leadership, and will contribute to greater professional empowerment of women.

The new programme will also encourage greater youth employment using the EIB’s “Skills and Jobs – investing for youth” model and builds on the success of past schemes that have enabled jobs for hundreds of young people.

“When more women work, economies grow. The European Investment Bank Group is committed to supporting private sector investment in Greece and, for the first time, this new EUR 500 million business financing programme, developed and implemented with leading Greek banks, targets support for companies that provide new opportunities for women. The new scheme also directly tackles youth unemployment and builds on the success of past support to create jobs and improve skills for young people.” said Andrew McDowell, European Investment Bank Vice President responsible for Greece.

Leading banks to support targeted financing programme

The new scheme has been agreed with four leading Greek banks: Alpha Bank, Eurobank, National Bank of Greece and Piraeus Bank.

The CEO of Alpha Bank Mr. Vassilios Psaltis said: “Alpha Bank, by participating in this innovative, new European Investment Bank programme, actively supports female entrepreneurship as well as the empowerment of women in the workplace and helps boost youth employment, having signed two agreements with the EIB, worth Euro 150 million overall. Having already secured the required funds specifically intended to reinforce female participation in the private sector, Alpha Bank is ready to provide financing, with favourable terms, to investment plans of businesses all over Greece that either belong to women or encourage female corporate leadership. At the same time, through the new Programme, the Bank continues to promote Greek businesses’ extrovert approach and competitiveness, by providing innovative and effective financing solutions”.

Eurobank’s CΕΟ, Mr. Fokion Karavias said: “Eurobank maintains a long and successful cooperation with the European Investment Bank as part of its strategy to support Greek entrepreneurship and employment. The new agreement confirms EIB’s interest in encouraging youth employment while it focuses on the empowerment of women in the workplace, providing for the first time gender support for business investment in Greece in favor of women. These are two extremely important targets because of the increased difficulty these two categories face in accessing the labor market, especially during the years of the Greek economic crisis. Initiatives of this nature are necessary as they create opportunities for the development of female entrepreneurship, enriching and strengthening the Greek business ecosystem in a new phase of challenges for the Greek economy.”

“NBG’s strategic objective is to support dynamic SMEs and Midcaps with growth potential. In this direction, we are improving the funding conditions for healthy businesses that promote youth employment, support female entrepreneurship and enhance women leadership, through EIB’s financing programmes”, said Paul Mylonas, National Bank of Greece CEO.

“Piraeus Bank has a leading role in the efficient absorption of funds, derived from European Funding Institutions. Its primary aim is to support viable investment plans as well as to enhance the capabilities of Greek small and medium enterprises. The signing of this new framework agreement signifies the extension of the long lasting cooperation between Piraeus Bank and the European Investment Bank and indicates their commitment to jointly support Greek entrepreneurship. This new funding line, focused on female entrepreneurs and youth job creation, will significantly enhance access to finance for Greek companies, contribute to job creation and promote new investment opportunities”, said Christos Megalou, Piraeus Bank CEO.

The new programme is guaranteed by the Hellenic Republic and is expected to result in EUR 1.4 billion worth of investments in the country in all major productive sectors, including trade, manufacturing, tourism, etc.

The new scheme follows the successful implementation of the EUR 1.05 billion credit line to Greek banks, launched in December 2016, through which, so far and in less than 3 years from its launch, almost 1,000 companies across Greece have received financing at EIB’s advantageous terms.

Encouraging private sector to strengthen female participation

Following the European Investment Bank’s Strategy for Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment, EUR 100 million of the new financing programme will support loans for companies that empower women in the workplace.

This will back investment both by companies that are increasing the contribution of female leadership and by companies that are majority owned and managed by women.

Tackling challenge of youth unemployment

Young people in Greece continue to face employment challenges and are less likely to be able to find a job than many other parts of Europe.

The European Investment Bank is committed to fighting youth unemployment and EUR 400 million of the new credit lines support investment in companies that support youth employment by creating new jobs.

Building on past support for business investment that creates jobs

Through the EUR 1.05 billion credit line agreed in December 2016, business loans totalling almost EUR 300 million have supported investment at companies across Greece that have created and sustained 887 jobs for young people.

Over the last 5 years, the European Investment Bank has provided more than EUR 3.5 billion for new investment by companies across Greece in partnership with local banks that has helped companies to expand, create jobs and increase productivity.

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