Western Balkans Enterprise Development & Innovation Facility

Western Balkans Enterprise Development & Innovation Facility

About the Western Balkans Enterprise Development & Innovation Facility

WB EDIF

The Western Balkans Enterprise Development & Innovation Facility (WB EDIF), funded by the EU, aims at improving access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Western Balkans. In addition, WB EDIF also aims to create a more favourable financing environment for SMEs and a sustainable equity market on the long-term. This includes the promotion of policy reforms to create the necessary political framework which supports SME financing.

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  • Widening the scope for SME finance
  • Boosting the participation of private sector actors
  • Addressing the needs of the Western Balkans SME market
  • Providing crucial technical assistance and support to policy makers and SMEs alike
  • Increasing available funding and financial instruments
  • Building up a local venture capital market
About WB

EU Funding

Financial Instruments under WB EDIF

WB EDIF has been designed to offer complementary financial engineering instruments addressing the entire range of SME financing needs in the Western Balkans. The Facility consists of four different pillars:

1st Pillar: SME Equity Financing

WB EDIF offers two equity funds aimed at early stage innovation companies (the Enterprise Innovation Fund) and later stage companies in their expansion phase (Enterprise Expansion Fund).

2nd Pillar: SME Loan Guarantee

WB EDIF offers also a guarantee instrument whereby a portion of the risk incurred by banks is covered (by EIF) when extending loans to SMEs – this risk coverage enables the banks therefore to provide financing at beneficial terms, such as via lower collateral and interest rates.

3rd Pillar: SME Lending

Through EDIF, €15m in grants is provided by the EU to support up to €140m from the EBRD for lending to local commercial banks and credit institutions in the Western Balkans for on-lending to local SMEs. The action complements and adds a regional dimension to the ongoing national SME competitiveness support programmes.

4th Pillar: Support Services

In order to offer a holistic approach to private sector development, WB EDIF also houses a wide range of support mechanisms which work together with the financial instruments to enhance the emergence and growth of innovative and high-potential SMEs in the region. Support Services projects deployed by the EIB, EBRD, World Bank and OECD tackle various areas in need of assistance, in order to create a favourable investment climate and sustainable market conditions to really allow SMEs to thrive.

WB EDIF Economies

  • € 760 m available since inception
  • 5,390 SMEs supported since inception
  • € 295 m invested in WB EDIF
  • 500 support projects
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WB EDIF partners

WB EDIF is a joint initiative of the EU, International Financial Institutions (IFIs), bilateral partners and the public institutions of the Western Balkans economies. Via this structure, WB EDIF leverages upon the expertise of 27 international, regional and local market players. These include the EIB, EIF, EBRD, World Bank, OECD, KfW, DEG, OeEB and the Italian Republic.

Investment

WB EDIF and the Western Balkans Investment Framework

WB EDIF is the first regional initiative focusing on SMEs which is channeled through the Western Balkan Investment Framework (WBIF). WBIF supports socio-economic development and EU accession across the Western Balkans by providing finance and technical assistance for strategic investments, particularly in infrastructure, energy efficiency and private sector development.

Latest WB EDIF News

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European Commission launches €3.2 billion investment package in the Western Balkans
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25-02-2022

European Commission launches €3.2 billion investment package in the Western Balkans

Today, the European Commission has unveiled a substantial €3.2 billion investment package to support 21 transp...

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Latest WB EDIF Videos

Publications

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WBIF Newsletter April 2022
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08-04-2022

WBIF Newsletter April 2022

WBIF Newsletter April 2022

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WBIF 2022 Endorsed Flagship Projects
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25-02-2022

WBIF 2022 Endorsed Flagship Projects

The WBIF, on 23 February 2022, endorsed 21 flagship projects in key railway, road and waterway interconnection...

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Rail Corridor X in Serbia
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03-10-2021

Rail Corridor X in Serbia

Factsheet on Rail Corridor X in Serbia.

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Partner Financial Organisations

Western Balkan Partners