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The European Investment Fund and Komerční banka (KB), have signed a guarantee agreement for Czech businesses supported by the newCultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility under the EU's Creative Europe programme. The guarantee agreement will allow KB to widen their support to Czech SMEs in the cultural and

creative sectors perceived to be more risky, reaching out to currently underserved sub-sectors including audio-visual, digital games, design and start-ups active in the creative digital content industry, with €25 million of loans over three years.

In total, around 700 SMEs in the cultural and creative sectors are expected to obtain access to finance as a result of this new Guarantee Facility. This agreement was made possible with the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the central pillar of theInvestment Plan for Europe, the Juncker Plan.

The creative and cultural sectors represent more than 7 million jobs in the EU and account for 4.2% of the EU's GDP (source). Access to finance can be difficult to obtain for companies active within these sectors, primarily due to the intangible nature of their assets and collateral, the limited size of the market, uncertainty about demand, and also lack of financial intermediary expertise in addressing sector specificities.

The new Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility includes capacity building activities for financial intermediaries, giving them specific expertise on key characteristics of these sectors (e.g. specific business models and credit risk assessment in the sectors). This kind of expertise would be provided by capacity building provider(s) selected by the EIF (e.g. consultancies specialised in the way the cultural and creative sectors work) following an open call for tenders. Such support will be free of charge for financial intermediaries.