SME Go Green Programme kick-off in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Bosnia and Herzegovina will be able to apply for loans coupled with investment incentives to help them improve their competitiveness and reduce their carbon footprint, thanks to the new SME Go Green programme.
Launched by the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the programme builds on the EBRD’s extensive experience supporting SMEs to finance green technologies.
The programme kicked off in December 2023 by the signing of a €7 million credit line to Raiffeisen Bank Bosnia and Herzegovina, which will on-lend the funds to local SMEs.
An estimated €120 million of EBRD financing will be made available during Phase 1 of the programme to local partner financial institutions across the Western Balkans that, in turn, will on-lend to approximately 3,400 SMEs for investments in climate-smart solutions.
The EU provides €25 million in grants, through the WBIF, to scale-up green economy investments, with more funding expected in the following phases of the programme.
Businesses can apply for funds to improve their energy and resource efficiency by investing in industrial premises, equipment, software, electric vehicles or renewable energy measures. At least 70 per cent of the proceeds of the credit line will be used to finance green technologies. One-third will support investments that enhance the greening of agriculture and agribusiness value chains, while one-quarter will go to women-led SMEs.
Upon successful completion of their projects, SMEs will be eligible for a cashback of an up to 15% of the loan amount. This is to help SMEs bridge the gap between the high upfront investment costs and the future return on investment.
Ambassador Johann Sattler, Head of the EU Delegation and EU Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina: “SMEs are a crucial engine for economic growth and prosperity. We are therefore glad to be supporting the SME Go Green Programme and assisting SMEs to modernise and take advantage of the opportunities of the future. The green and digital transformation of SMEs will help businesses become more competitive in local and international markets”.
Manuela Naessl, EBRD Head of Bosnia and Herzegovina: “The SME Go Green programme was developed to assist Bosnian firms in the green transition and to equip them with tools to compete in the modern economy. With this programme, we wish to support companies in their efforts to offer their clients products and services that meet the highest EU climate, environmental protection and other standards.”
Rainer Schnabl, CEO of Raiffeisen Bank Bosnia and Herzegovina: “We are pleased to extend our long-lasting partnership with EBRD. By supporting these projects together with our clients, we make sustainable transition happen, contributing to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals, especially in the area of environmental protection.”
More about the Private Sector programmes here