The European Investment Bank granted €150 million to support innovative, risky startups and businesses in the Baltic countries and Finland but Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia may only get a little more than one tenth of the funding dedicated to the four countries.
“Funding depends on the needs of each country, but in most cases we fund infrastructure, environmental and innovative projects. Of course, as well as small and medium business projects, and all these areas are open to the Baltic countries,” said European Investment Bank Vice President Jan Vapaavuori.
“I would be very happy if we could finance projects for €20 million in the Baltic countries – this is the minimum amount we would like to lend, so we hope to exceed that amount,” said Matias Huhtala, the Finland’s OP Corporate Bank head in the Baltic region.
The funds will be distributed by the Finnish bank OP Corporate Bank but the European Investment Bank makes the final decision on project funding.
Thomas Schmidt, a representative in the Baltic and Nordic region, emphasised that although the bank will lend over a longer time frame than commercial banks, it will only co-finance up to 50% of a start-ups required funding.