Just a week after Britain voted to exit the European Union, the European Commission and European Investment Fund (EIF) have announced a €121 million boost to the entertainment industry.
The €121 million initiative will support SMEs in the cultural and creative sectors, and is expected to create more than €600 million worth of bank loans over the next six years. It is hoped that the scheme will benefit more than 10,000 businesses in audiovisual sectors including film, TV, animation, and multimedia.
The project was set up set-up under Creative Europe, the main EU programme dedicated to the cultural and creative sectors, and will be managed by the EIF on behalf of the European Commission. European SMEs should benefit from it as early as of the end of this year.
The EIF will provide guarantees and counter-guarantees, free of charge, to selected financial intermediaries in order to enable them to provide more debt finance to entrepreneurs in the cultural and creative markets.
Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society Günther H Oettinger, commented: "Creative minds and companies need to experiment and take risks to thrive, for our society and for our economy. We are helping them to get the bank loans they would normally not get."
The creative and cultural sectors represent more than seven million jobs in the EU and account for 4.2 per cent of the EU's GDP.
EIF deputy chief executive, Roger Havenith, said: "Helping business to scale up and access market-based financing solutions is high on the European Commission’s agenda. Providing credit risk protection and capacity building for finance providers are two essential ingredients in the recipe for support for SMEs in the cultural and creative sectors."