The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Ezbob have signed the first loan guarantee agreement in the UK under the EU programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME).
This is the first agreement with an online SME lender under COSME and will allow Ezbob to substantially increase their loan volumes to SMEs by supporting a new portfolio of loans worth up to £40m (€56m) over the next two years. Over 3,000 companies are expected to benefit from this EU support.
Commenting on the agreement, EIF Head of EU Guarantee Facilities, Gunnar Mai said: “I am delighted to be signing our first guarantee agreement with an SME online lender in Europe under the COSME Programme. The £40m of new loan finance for UK entrepreneurs from Ezbob will help to create jobs at a time when access to finance continues to be a pressing issue for the UK as well as European economy.”
Tomer Guriel, CEO, Orange Money Ltd, commented: “We are thrilled to be announcing our agreement with the European Investment Fund. This news, cements our commitment to the UK market and our dedication to support small businesses. We have already lent to 690 companies under the European Progress Microfinance Facility. The complementary COSME agreement demonstrates the success of the inital scheme, and enables us to provide funding to an additional 3,000 UK small businesses, helping them to sustain and fuel growth.”