EIB and Banca Etica Partner to Drive €165 Million Investments in Italy’s Social Economy

EIB and Banca Etica Partner to Drive €165 Million Investments in Italy’s Social Economy

(IN BRIEF) The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Banca Etica have signed a €60 million agreement to stimulate €165 million in investments across Italy. The initiative aims to support women-led SMEs, improve services for refugees, and boost economic development in southern Italy. The partnership underscores a commitment to fostering inclusive growth and sustainability through targeted financial support and technical assistance.

(PRESS RELEASE) LUXEMBOURG, 2-Jul-2024 — /EuropaWire/ — The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Banca Etica have signed a €60 million agreement aimed at catalyzing investments totaling €165 million in the real economy. Vice-President Gelsomina Vigliotti of the EIB and President Anna Fasano of Banca Etica formalized the agreement, which focuses on advancing gender equality, improving refugee services, and bolstering economic development in southern Italy.

Vigliotti highlighted the agreement’s significance in promoting inclusive growth and supporting initiatives crucial for Italy and Europe’s future. The EIB’s financial support and advisory services are geared towards fostering a more equitable and sustainable society.

Banca Etica, as the first Italian bank to collaborate with the EIB on such an initiative, reaffirmed its commitment to financing the social economy. President Fasano emphasized Banca Etica’s role in supporting marginalized groups, including refugees and women-led SMEs, leveraging its expertise developed over 25 years.

The agreement allocates 30% of funds to women-led SMEs to enhance their access to finance and facilitate business growth, thereby narrowing the gender gap in entrepreneurship. Another 30% will support projects improving infrastructure and social services for refugees, aiming to enhance their living conditions and economic integration. Additionally, 30% will be directed towards SME projects in cohesion regions, contributing to economic resilience and reducing regional disparities.

Technical assistance under the Social Inclusive Finance Technical Assistance (SIFTA) programme, funded by the InvestEU Advisory Hub, will aid Banca Etica in effectively deploying resources across these priority areas. SIFTA’s support includes investment preparation, portfolio analysis, and operational pipeline creation, benefitting microfinance institutions and credit entities across the EU.

The collaboration underscores a commitment to sustainable development and inclusive economic growth across Europe, reinforcing the EIB and Banca Etica’s shared mission of creating lasting societal impact through financial empowerment and support.

Background information

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It provides long-term financing for sound investments that contribute to EU policy. The Bank finances projects in four priority areas: infrastructure, innovation, climate and environment, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In the past five years, the EIB Group has provided more than €58 billion in financing for projects in Italy.

The InvestEU programme provides the European Union with long-term funding by leveraging substantial private and public funds in support of a sustainable recovery. It also helps to crowd in private investment for the European Union’s strategic priorities such as the European Green Deal and the digital transition. InvestEU brings all EU financial instruments previously available for supporting investments within the European Union together under one roof, making funding for investment projects in Europe simpler, more efficient and more flexible. The programme consists of three components: the InvestEU Fund, the InvestEU Advisory Hub, and the InvestEU Portal. The InvestEU Fund is deployed through implementing partners that will invest in projects using the EU budget guarantee of €26.2 billion. The entire budget guarantee will back the investment projects of the implementing partners, increase their risk-bearing capacity and thus mobilise at least €372 billion in additional investment.

Banca Etica is the first and so far only Italian bank entirely dedicated to ethical finance, operating for 25 years throughout the country via a network of branches and agents and via home and mobile banking services. It manages the savings of responsible organisations and individuals, using them to finance projects supporting collective well-being. It currently has 48 000 members and €92 million in share capital, savings holdings of over €2.5 billion and loans of over €1.2 billion to the initiatives of organisations, families and companies in the areas of social cooperation and innovation, international cooperation, culture and quality of life, environmental conservation, responsible tourism, organic farming, right of housing and law. Banca Etica is part of the main international ethical finance networks: Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV) and European Federation of Ethical and Alternative Banks and Financiers (FEBEA).

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Lorenzo Squintani

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+352 43791

SOURCE: European Investment Bank


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