European Investment Fund and Norrlandsfonden Sign InvestEU Guarantee Agreement to Improve SME Access to Finance in Northern Sweden

European Investment Fund and Norrlandsfonden Sign InvestEU Guarantee Agreement to Improve SME Access to Finance in Northern Sweden

(IN BRIEF) The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Norrlandsfonden, a Swedish public investment agency, have signed a guarantee agreement supported by the European Union’s InvestEU programme to improve access to finance for SMEs and small mid-caps in Northern Sweden. Over 120 companies throughout several Swedish regions are expected to benefit from this agreement, which will allow Norrlandsfonden to provide better lending conditions to its clients, including reduced interest rates. The agreement is split into the “Innovation and Digitalisation” and “Sustainability” investment priorities, which aim to support innovation, digitalisation, and environmentally friendly, green and inclusive investments in the region.

(PRESS RELEASE) LUXEMBOURG, 11-Apr-2023 — /EuropaWire/ — The European Investment Fund (EIF), part of the European Investment Bank Group and established to support Europe’s micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and Norrlandsfonden, a Swedish public investment agency, have entered into a guarantee agreement to enhance access to finance for SMEs and small Mid-Caps in Northern Sweden. This agreement, supported by the European Union’s InvestEU programme, is expected to benefit more than 120 companies in the Norrbotten, Västerbotten, Västernorrland, Jämtland, and Gävleborg regions of Sweden. The European Investment Fund’s support of Norrlandsfonden through InvestEU will enable the intermediary to offer better lending conditions to its clients, including reduced interest rates.

“In the coming years, northern Sweden is set to receive substantial investments, some of which are already in progress. The agreement between EIF and Norrlandsfonden will play a crucial role in supporting a green economy, fostering innovations and serving as an important financial tool for our region. This will enable Norrlandsfonden to become even stronger in the coming years and support small and medium-sized businesses in northern Sweden.” said Niklas Jonsson, CEO of Norrlandsfonden.

EIF Chief Executive Marjut Falkstedt commented“The EIF needs regional partners like Norrlandsfonden to make sure that financial support can reach clients throughout Sweden. Norrlandsfonden’s expertise and knowledge of the local market provide optimal conditions to channel EU-backed funding to Swedish businesses, highlighting the direct link between the European project and local communities. We look forward to this renewed collaboration and the opportunity to back small businesses that are striving to innovate and drive the green transition in a region that is becoming a hotbed of innovation and sustainability.’’

The InvestEU guarantee agreement is divided into the “Innovation and Digitalisation” and “Sustainability” investment priorities of the European Union. On the one hand, the “innovation and digitalisation” guarantee will help Norrlandsfonden to provide support to businesses driven by innovation and digitalisation by improving access to finance for research and innovation-intensive companies and supporting their digital transformation and adoption of digital technologies. On the other hand, the “sustainability” guarantee will enable Norrlandsfonden to promote green and sustainable economic development by encouraging the environmentally friendly, green, and inclusive investments of its clients in Northern Sweden, a region leading Europe’s transition to a sustainable economy.

Background information

The European Investment Fund (EIF): The EIF is part of the EIB Group. It supports Europe’s SMEs by improving their access to finance through a wide range of selected financial intermediaries. The EIF designs, promotes and implements equity and debt financing instruments targeting SMEs. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of entrepreneurship, growth, innovation, research and development, the green and digital transitions and employment.

The InvestEU programme provides the European Union with crucial long-term funding by leveraging substantial private and public funds in support of a sustainable economy. It helps generate additional investments in line with EU policy priorities, such as the European Green Deal, the digital transition and support for small and medium-sized enterprises. InvestEU brings all EU financial instruments 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 implemented through financial partners who invest in projects using the EU budget guarantee of €26.2 billion. This guarantee increases their risk-bearing capacity, thus mobilising at least €372 billion in additional investment.

Established in 1961 as a foundation, Norrlandsfonden is a Swedish government-supported initiative set-up as a specialised institution for promotion of the economic activity and support of manufacturing companies in the North of Sweden (Norrland). Operating from two main offices in Luleå and Sundsvall, Norrlandsfonden provides high-risk financing in cooperation with banks and venture capital players. The fund works to promote the development of companies in the counties of Norrbotten, Västerbotten, Västernorrland, Jämtland and Gävleborg, investing across all business sectors with an interest in new technology and in business areas with an opportunity for growth. Norrlandsfonden offers loans for establishment, development and expansion with different loans, guarantees and guaranties dependent on the investment opportunity.

Press contacts

EIB Group: Tim Smit, Tel: +352 691286423,

Norrlandsfonden: Niklas Jonsson, +46 70 535 13 75,

European Commission: Flora Matthaes, Tel: +32 229 83951,

SOURCE: European Investment Fund


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