Italy: €200M Agreement between European Investment Bank (EIB), illimity to Support SMBs

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is granting a €100 million loan to illimity which, in turn, “undertakes to invest an additional €100 million for small businesses through b-ilty, the illimity Group’s digital bank.”

As noted in the update, 30% of the resources will be “channeled to small businesses operating in regions covered by cohesion policy (in particular Molise, Campania, Puglia, Basilicata, Calabria, Sicily, Sardinia, Abruzzo, Umbria and Marche).”

As mentioned in the announcement, 20% of the funds “will be dedicated to investments made by SMEs to support the climate transition, namely the production of green energy, the reduction of CO2 emissions and improvements in energy efficiency.”

As revealed in a blog post, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and illimity Bank S.p.A. (illimity) have “concluded an agreement worth €200 million aimed at supporting the working capital and liquidity needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with specific emphasis being given to sustainable investments and businesses operating in cohesion regions.”

The agreement, “which further consolidates the excellent cooperation between the two banks, will lead to each mobilizing funds of €100 million during 2023, ensuring SMEs’ access to credit on favorable terms.”

illimity will “provide funding of €100 million to these businesses through b-ilty, the illimity Group’s digital bank specializing in providing financial services and credit to companies with a turnover of between €2 million and €15 million.”

A fully digital platform and flexible structure “means b-ilty has no territorial restrictions and is therefore able to provide the best possible support to the various types of business found across Italy.”

More specifically, the agreement “requires at least 30% of the funds to be used to finance businesses operating in cohesion regions (Molise, Campania, Puglia, Basilicata, Calabria, Sicily, Sardinia, Abruzzo, Umbria and Marche), in line with the European Union’s cross-cutting objective of economic, social and territorial development.”

In addition, “at least 20% of the new funds must support investments made by Italian companies in the energy transition.”

Specific emphasis will “be given to supporting projects that are consistent with the European Union’s priority objectives for achieving environmental sustainability through the development of renewable energy (solar photovoltaic), energy efficiency, sustainable mobility (electric vehicles and charging infrastructure) and projects for sustainable water and waste management.”

This is the second agreement “reached between the EIB Group and illimity following that concluded in 2021, which enabled funding of over €1 billion to be provided for the liquidity needs of Italian SMEs.”

EIB Vice-President Gelsomina Vigliotti said:

“The aim of this operation with illimity is to foster two of the EIB’s cross-cutting objectives, namely climate and social cohesion, by providing new funding at favourable terms for small and medium-sized businesses wishing to invest in a more sustainable and inclusive future.”

CEO and Founder of illimity Corrado Passera commented:

“illimity was conceived with the ambition of enhancing and supporting entrepreneurship in Italy. Our commitment, working alongside businesses, is further confirmed by this agreement which enables new funding to be provided to SMEs in the highly complex period we are currently experiencing. Working with the EIB once again allows us to provide even greater support to businesses with potential intending to boost their growth, in this way contributing to a positive economic, social and environmental change in their local area.”

As noted in the update, the European Investment Bank (EIB) “funds projects in four priority sectors: infrastructure, innovation, climate and environment and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).”

Between 2019 and 2022, the EIB Group reportedly “provided more than €45 billion in financing for projects in Italy.”

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