The Fund of Funds chose First Investment Bank as an intermediary for the implementation of a financial instrument “Microcredits with shared risk” under OP “Human Resources Development” 2014-2020. The budget for allocation to startups and social enterprises amounts to BGN 26.4 million and will be provided in the form of microcredits. They can be up to BGN 48,895 with a repayment term of up to 10 years.
The bank will provide additional BGN 8.5 million of private resources to the public resources managed by the Fund of Funds The funds under the financial instrument are provided at zero interest, thus the final recipients will pay more favourable interest on the loan.
Funding will support entrepreneurship (including social), and individuals from certain vulnerable groups – such as unemployed over 6 months, people with disabilities, youths up to 29 years old, etc. Funds should be used in activities related to the acquisition of tangible and intangible assets; capital in relation to the development/expansion of activities of the enterprise or the self-employed person; the development and upgrading of the skills of the employees or the entrepreneur in the case of self-employment.
Projects under the programme Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency and Energy Security will be funded for nearly € 33 million. The budget is for street lights, geothermal and hydropower utilisation, energy efficiency in buildings, etc. Beneficiaries can be the state, municipalities and private enterprises that would like to improve the efficiency of their production processes.
The programme is funded by the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area 2014-2021 with a partnership between the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Water and Energy Directorate of the Kingdom of Norway and the National Energy Authority of Iceland.
The main objective of the programme is to increase the production of energy from renewable sources, to improve energy efficiency in buildings, industry and municipalities, as well as to increase the expertise in the area of renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Opportunities for funding for SMEs and Technological centres in the area of manufacturing are available through grants of the project H2020 KET4CP (Key Enabling Technologies for Clean Production).
Micro-funding options up to 50 000 EUR are offered for transnational projects for cooperation between small and medium-sized enterprises and at least 2 technological centres. Such projects should have as a goal to integrate key technologies for solving the challenges in the area of manufacturing. The focus is on the modernisation of the production processes.
Representative for Bulgaria in the consortium is GIS – Transfer Center.