Invest NL

Sustainable SME Fund and Invest-NL help sustainable entrepreneurs during the Covid crisis

The Sustainable SME Fund and Invest-NL are joining forces to help sustainable SME entrepreneurs who are unable or unwilling to obtain bank credit during the Covid crisis. The Sustainable SME Fund will contain over €10 million, of which Invest-NL will contribute €5 million.

The Sustainable SME Fund and Invest-NL are joining forces to help sustainable SME entrepreneurs who are unable or unwilling to obtain bank credit during the Covid crisis. The Sustainable SME Fund will contain over €10 million, of which Invest-NL will contribute €5 million.

Several agencies estimate that approximately half of all SME entrepreneurs are suffering or will suffer liquidity problems in the coming months as a result of the second wave of the Covid pandemic. Many sustainable entrepreneurs and family businesses find it difficult to access financing when they experience liquidity shortages. The business model of entrepreneurs in the sustainability sector is often seen as risky, especially in the throes of an economic recession. Meanwhile, family businesses are often self-financing and therefore have less access to regular funding when they need it. Both types of companies are engines of innovation and the drivers of an economy designed not to deplete its own resources. For a sustainable restart of the economy, it is important that these companies emerge from the crisis in good health.

The Sustainable SME Fund* was set up this year to help companies that make a sustainable or social impact. These are entrepreneurs who contribute to one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations and regarded worldwide as common objectives for sustainable development. The funds have been raised by Invest-NL, along with various entrepreneurs and former entrepreneurs, and currently has over €10 million at its disposal. This enables the fund to provide sustainable entrepreneurs with Guarantee SME Loans earmarked for assistance during the Covid crisis (BMKB-C) and ranging between €200,000 and €2 million. This government-guaranteed scheme offers opportunities for companies that have little in the way of security to offer financiers, because it is partly covered by the Dutch state.

Jorine Zandhuis, Business Developer at Invest-NL, explains why: “We want to make the Netherlands more sustainable and more innovative. Sustainable entrepreneurs are a vital part of realising this ambition. Even during the Covid-19 pandemic. In fact, now more than ever! With this fund-in-fund investment, we will help sustainable entrepreneurs to achieve their ambitions, so that they will be in a position to give our economy the sustainable restart it needs.”

Jakoba van der Mei, Fund Manager at the Sustainable SME Fund, adds, “In these difficult times, many entrepreneurs are less likely to obtain financial support from a bank. With the Sustainable SME Fund, we want to help entrepreneurs by financing their liquidity shortage with government-guaranteed credit to see them through the crisis. We can offer much needed backing combined with personal guidance and a rapid response. We take this approach because every case is unique and entrepreneurs often want a quick and practical solution so that they can continue doing business.”

For more information about the fund and submitting an application see:

https://www.startgreenfondsduurzaammkb.nl/

 

* As of 18 november 2020 the new name of Duurzaam MKB fonds is StartGreen Fonds Duurzaam MKB.