The European Investment Fund and Italy’s national promotional institution Cassa Depositi e Prestiti have signed an agreement under the Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility, part of the EU’s Creative Europe Programme, to generate €300 million in new financing for around 3,500 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the cultural and creative sectors of Italy.
The agreement is supported by the EU budget under the Juncker Plan’s European Fund for Strategic Investments. Access to finance in the creative and cultural sectors can be difficult to obtain in Italy, primarily due to the intangible nature of their assets and collateral, the limited size of the market, demand uncertainty, and a lack of financial intermediary expertise in addressing sector specificities.
The EU’s Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel and Tibor Navracsics, the Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport said in a joint statement that the main catalyst behind the agreement is “to foster risk-taking attitudes, which are key to building resilience. Helping these companies stimulate creativity is high on the European Commission’s agenda. This guarantee agreement helps to bridge the financing gap faced by these sectors and will have important economic and social benefits.”
The Juncker Plan is an infrastructure investment programme that was first announced by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in November 2014 and focuses on unlocking public and private investments into the real economy to the tune of at least € 315 billion over a three-year fiscal period.