Tuesday, 5 December 2017
Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
Small and Medium Enterprises Supports
299. To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the way in which her Department is accessing supports for Irish SMEs through the European fund for strategic investment and the European Investment Bank; if all such available funding has been drawn down to date in 2017; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [52047/17]
Policy responsibility for leveraging funding from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) rests with my colleague the Minister for Finance.
However, my Department and agencies are strongly committed to working together with the EIB, other Departments and Financial Intermediaries to enhance the Bank’s activity in the SME sector in Ireland. The Brexit Loan Scheme recently announced during Budget 2018 will provide affordable working capital financing to eligible Irish businesses that are either currently impacted by Brexit, or will be in the future. The Scheme will be delivered by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) through commercial lenders to get much needed working capital into Irish businesses. The €300 million fund is underpinned by a counter-guarantee from the European Commission and EIB Group through its InnovFin counter guarantee facility. My officials are also engaging with the EIB on the potential for working together on future loan guarantee schemes.
The European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) is a joint initiative of the European Investment Bank (EIB), European Investment Fund (EIF) and the European Commission, established to help overcome the current investment gap in the EU by mobilising private financing for strategic investments.
While the Minister for Finance is responsible for the Irish political and policy input on the shape of EFSI, including its ongoing review, it is in fact EFSI itself which is charged with day to day operations independent of all EU Governments including the Irish Government.
EFSI and EIB do however publish project lists on their websites, and, in this regard, I would direct the Deputy's attention towards this information, which can be filtered by country and by sector, including under the heading of 'smaller companies’.
The website addresses are www.eib.org/efsi/efsi-projects/index.htm and .