Pauline Bieringa, Managing Director of Triodos Bank Netherlands stated: “Triodos Bank already finances arts and culture because they contribute to society by connecting ideas and people, and reflecting, stimulating and encouraging positive change. We have extensive experience in financing cultural entrepreneurship, museums, theaters, and cultural hubs, among other things. The partnership with EIF allows us to financially support those creative and cultural initiatives that would normally have difficulty accessing regular bank credit facilities. This guarantee facility is an important incentive, especially now that the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdowns have put the cultural sector under immense pressure.”

European Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, said:“Culture and creators need our support in the COVID-19 crisis. Today’s agreement with Triodos Bank and the European Investment Fund (EIF), supported by EFSI under the EU Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility, will unlock up to 200 million in loans to culture and creative businesses in Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany. It will help their recovery so that they continue contributing to Europe’s rich cultural landscape.”

The cultural and creative sectors are still under huge pressure due to COVID-restrictions in all EU-countries,” says Alain Godard, Chief Executive at the European Investment Fund. “To come out of the crisis and restart sustainable growth for these sectors, availability and affordability of financing will play a big role. The EIF is glad to partner with Triodos to help channel this much needed European financing to those companies that need it.”

The goal of the transaction is to give the often very small cultural and creative businesses, active in some of the most impacted sectors in the economy, access to financing in order to find a path out of the crisis towards sustainable growth. Companies interested in financing can get in touch with their local Triodos contact for more information.

Background information:

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank Group. Its central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment.

Founded in 1980, Triodos Bank has become a frontrunner in sustainable banking globally. Triodos Bank is an independent bank that promotes responsible and transparent banking. Triodos Bank believes a focus on people and the planet and a good financial return can go hand in hand. These elements will reinforce each other in the long-term. Triodos Bank has banking activities in the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, Spain, Germany as well as Investment Management activities based in the Netherlands but active globally. Triodos Bank co-founded the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, a network of 60 sustainable banks. Together these banks want to grow sustainable banking and its impact on the real economy substantially. Triodos Bank N.V. has a full banking licence and is registered with De Nederlandsche Bank N.V. (the Dutch central bank) and the Autoriteit Financiële Markten (the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets).

About the European Union’s programme for cultural and creative sectors
Creative Europe is a 7-year programme (2014-2020) designed to support the creative and cultural sectors. The aim of Creative Europe is to promote cultural diversity, encourage the circulation of European culture and creativity and strengthen the competitiveness of the cultural and creative sectors. The guarantee facility forms a part of the Creative Europe programme. It helps creative SMEs to scale up their businesses through easier access to finance. The total budget available under CCS was backed up by funds under the EFSI.

Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility
The CCS GF is an initiative managed by EIF on behalf of the European Commission. It was launched in June 2016 in the framework of the Creative Europe program (2014-2020). The CCS GF benefits micro-businesses and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the cultural and creative sectors, which often face difficulties in accessing affordable debt financing for their projects. Cultural entrepreneurs wishing to apply for a loan can contact Triodos Bank.

Social enterprises
The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Triodos Bank have an existing partnership aimed at social enterprises. In 2018, they signed the first Social Entrepreneurship guarantee agreement in the Netherlands under the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation. Since thestart in 2018, Triodos Bank has signed around 450 transactions under the social entrepreneurship guarantee agreement in the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain.