Innovfin SME Guarantee Facility

Financing via the "InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility" program of the European Investment Fund  



As part of its efforts to support recovery of the Greek economy, National Bank of Greece enhances access to financing by innovative and fast-growing businesses that will comprise the main source of growth in the future.       

More specifically, through the agreement with the European Investment Fund (EIF), NBG grants financing on favorable terms to innovative SMEs and MidCaps (that employ up to 499 staff), totalling €100,000,000 as part of the "Innovfin SME Guarantee Facility" program.       

The financing of businesses is supported by the financial tool in the form of the "InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility" mechanism and is carried out under the auspices of the EU in the frame of  the "Horizon 2020 Financial Tools" program, which was launched by virtue of Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013 of the European Parliament and Council, of 11 December 2013, for the purposes of establishing a program for research and innovation (2014-2020) and repealing Decision No 1982/2006/EC, and the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI), created as part of the Investment Plan for Europe.         The aim of the EFSI is to contribute to the financing and implementation of productive investments within the European Union and to enhance access to financing.


Aim of the InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility Program and benefits for financed businesses 

The Program's aim is to enhance access to financing by fast-growing and/or innovative SMEs and MidCaps.

Eligibility criteria for businesses 

To be eligible, businesses need to meet the following criteria:

  • they should be micro, small or medium businesses, as per Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC, employing up to 250 staff in terms of Annual Work Units (AWU), and the turnover of the last business year should not be higher than €50 million, or the total annual balance sheet not be higher than €43 million (see Annex I A. Definition of SMEs) or they should be small MidCaps employing up to 499 staff in terms of AWUs.
  • They meet at least one of the innovation criteria as defined by the Innovfin guarantee program and described in detail herein .
  • they should be businesses not in difficulty as per Regulation (EU) No. 651/2014 of the Commission, of 17 June 2014, announcing certain categories of loan facilities as compatible with the domestic market under articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, as amended.
  • They should be businesses not active in non-eligible sectors, as such are described herein below "Restrictions on eligibility for potential beneficiaries". 
  • they should not have overdue debts or generally present any breach or default with regard to any contractual term of any loan or leasing agreement, whether granted by the Bank or another credit institution, during the time period that the financing request is under review.  
  • They are not listed on regulated stock markets, subject to being listed on alternative trading platforms, as same are defined in article 4.1.15 of Directive 2004/39/EC.  
  • They are established and operate in an EU member state.  


Restrictions on eligibility for potential beneficiaries

Businesses considered as not being eligible for financing within the context of the present program are those whose activity is related to:


- Illegal economic activities

any production, trade or other activity which is illegal under the laws or regulations of the home jurisdiction for such production, trade or activity ("Illegal economic activity"). 

 - Tobacco and distilled alcoholic beverages

The production of and trade in tobacco and distilled alcoholic beverages and related products.

 - Production of and trade in weapons and ammunition

The financing of the production of and trade in weapons and ammunition of any kind. This restriction does not apply to the extent that such activities are part of or accessory to explicit EU policies.

 - Casinos: Casinos and equivalent enterprises.

- IT Sector Restrictions

Research, development or technical applications relating to electronic data programs or solutions, which: 

aim specifically at:
 i.  supporting any activity included in the EIF Restricted Sectors referred to above

ii. internet gambling and online casinos, or

iii. pornography,

                or which are intended to enable illegal:
 i.  entry into electronic data networks; or

 ii.  downloading of electronic data.


   - Life Science Sector Restrictions  

A) When providing support to the financing of research, development or technical applications which should not relate to:  i) human cloning for research or therapeutic purposes and ii) Genetically Modified Organisms ("GMOs"), the EIF shall require from the EIF counterpart (i.e. the Bank) appropriate specific assurance on the control of legal, regulatory and ethical issues linked to such human cloning for research or therapeutic purposes and/or GMOs.

Β) The financed company is under obligation not to be involved in the sector of Research & Development (R&D) related to  illegal activities as per the applicable, EU and international legislation, including the  EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, as well as the European Convention on Human Rights and the respective protocols.

Features of the financing program backed by EIF guarantees

The key features of loans granted through the program are the following:

Loan purpose: 

a) investments in tangible or intangible fixed assets

b) working capital

Minimum amount: €25,000
Maximum loan amount: €7,500,000
Type and features of financing: 

a) Revolving Working Capital (Credit Line), renewed at least annually, for a maximum of 3 years   

b) Working capital of a permanent nature, for a term of at least 1 year and a maximum of 5 years, with a 6-month grace period.

c) Financing for the purchase of fixed assets, for a term of at least 1 year and a maximum of 10 years, with a 12-month grace period.

Interest rate:Euribor 3M plus margin, depending on the credit rating of the beneficiaries and the amount of collateral provided (besides the contribution under Law 128/75)
Currency:  EUR
Collateral:Reduced requirements for provision of collateral by the businesses given the fact that the financing is supported in the form of the "InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility" guarantee mechanism as part of this Program.

Quarterly or half-yearly amortization instalments.


The revolving Working Capital (credit line) is provided initially for one year as of the date the agreement is signed. Thereafter, it can be renewed each year for a maximum of 3 years.

Interest posted:  On 30/6 and 31/12 each year.


Required documentation

In addition to the standard documentation (such as balance sheets, P&L statements, periodic VAT returns, Ε1 income tax returns of company proprietors etc.):

1.  Application for financing, together with a list of any other documents attached, completed and signed by the business.

2.  Information regarding staff employed by the firm:

  • Detailed Periodic Declarations (DPDs) for IKA or
  • Solemn declaration of the Legal Representative stating that, during the year the application is filed, the business's employees will be fewer than:

                 - 499 employees on an annual basis (if the business does not provide a DPD)   or

  - In cases where the business does not employ staff, a solemn declaration by the Legal representative to this    effect.

3.  Shareholder/corporate structure data:

  • For capital companies (SA, Limited Liability Company, Private Company): copy of the pages of the Book of Proprietors/Shareholders indicating the current Corporate/Shareholder structure as at the date the application is filed or, alternatively, the minutes of the most recent General Meeting of Shareholders, including the names of Shareholders who attended and the proportion of shares or ownership they have in the company.
  • For personal companies (General and Limited Partnerships): the firm's articles of association and any amendments thereto or any codification thereof with all company changes.

4.  IKA DPDs of any associated or affiliated businesses.

5.  Declaration stating the classification of the business as an SME.

6.  Solemn declaration of eligibility.

7.  Solemn declaration stating that the business meets Innovfin criteria.

8.   Solemn declaration stating the business's credit status vis-a-vis credit institutions.

9.  Business Plan for Financing.



 The program is available:

 Through to 02.07.2020 or until available funds have been used up.


Contact details:

For further information, stop by any of our Branches.