The European Investment Fund (EIF) is providing investment fund ST’ART with access to the InvestEU guarantee facility.
This means that ST’ART will be able to launch new products and offer up to €24m (£21m/$25m) worth of financing to cultural and creative businesses in Wallonia and Brussels, in Belgium, over the next three years.
The aim is to promote and expand access to finance for companies that operate in the cultural and creative industries.
Accessing financial help may be difficult for companies in these sectors due to a number of reasons, including the intangible nature of their assets and lack of guarantees; the limited size of the market; uncertain demand; and a lack of financial intermediaries capable of addressing the specific features of the sector.
ST’ART supports the creation, growth and development of a startup or established business, providing them with a financing solution at each stage of their life cycle.
The new guarantee will enable ST’ART to launch new lending products for companies in the cultural and creative sectors such as its Production Funding Loan (a short-term loan) and the Enterprise Funding Loan (which supports specific, ad hoc and short-term needs).
It will continue to offer existing lending products that were launched under the previous guarantee facility, the Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility. ST’ART will also offer more favourable conditions to companies by reducing interest rates.
Paolo Gentiloni, Commissioner for Economy, said: “InvestEU is playing an important role across Europe in helping businesses gain access to the finance they need to innovate, expand and create jobs. Thanks to this InvestEU agreement, cultural organisations active in Brussels and Wallonia will unlock funds that will allow them to make their projects a reality. I am proud that InvestEU will play a role in supporting our cultural heritage and building a vibrant creative industry.”
The cultural and creative industries account for 4.4% of EU gross domestic product in terms of turnover, with an estimated revenue of €643bn and added value of €253bn in 2019.
Minister-President of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, Pierre-Yves Jeholet, added: “This is a real opportunity for the cultural and creative sectors in Belgium. ST’ART will continue to support the creation, growth and development of businesses and offer new products. The guarantee facility gives entrepreneurs a real opportunity.”