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EIB provides €30 million to UniCredit Bank Serbia

Christian Fernsby |
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and UniCredit Bank Srbija A.D. (UCBS) have signed the first €15 million tranche of an innovative €30 million impact finance loan to help Serbian small, medium and mid-cap companies to improve the social impact of their businesses in areas such as gender equality, youth employment and social inclusion.

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The loan from the EU bank is being complemented by a €4 million grant provided under the EIB’s Economic Resilience Initiative (ERI).

The grant will reward companies that meet specific targets to foster women’s employment and entrepreneurship, youth employment and professional development as well as the social inclusion of underserved or vulnerable demographic groups (e.g. minorities, people with disabilities, refugees, etc.) who often face additional barriers to entry in the job market.

Under the scheme, a set of social impact goals will be agreed with the companies that borrow the EIB funds through UCBS and a financial reward will be distributed to those who meet such targets, encouraging them to include and support employees from more vulnerable groups and ensure their training and long-term retention.

This is the first EIB private sector loan under the ERI in the Western Balkans, contributing to the overarching objectives of promoting sustainable growth and supporting economic resilience. The EIB will also provide technical support for the preparation and implementation of the projects, helping to achieve the intended social impact objectives.

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