News archive - EUR 17m for SMEs in Albania under the Western Balkans Enterprise and Innovation Facility

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Raiffeisen Bank, have signed a guarantee agreement to support Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Albania, via a Guarantee Facility under the Western Balkans Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility (WB EDIF).

The Western Balkans Guarantee Facility agreement aims to facilitate access to finance for SMEs in Albania by providing credit coverage on a EUR 17 million portfolio of SME loans with attractive conditions over the next two years.


Commenting on the transaction EIF’s Guarantees, Securitisation & Microfinance Director Alessandro Tappi said: “We are pleased to be signing this first guarantee agreement in Albania under the second phase of the Western Balkans Guarantee Facility. The guarantee via Raiffeisen Bank will enhance access to finance for SMEs and thus, enable them to grow their businesses and create jobs.”

Mr. Christian Canacaris, CEO at Raiffeisen Bank, said: “This agreement will help us in further growing our customer base, as well as in the expansion of the loan portfolio.  In addition, it will enable us to make more competitive offers for our customers by so reducing their credit costs”

This transaction was signed in the framework of the Western Balkans Guarantee Facility, funded by the European Union under the Western Balkans Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility.                                                               

About the EIF

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank group. Its central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment.


The Western Balkan Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility (WB EDIF) is an EU funded initiative which aims at increasing the financial resources made available to SMEs based in the Western Balkans, as well as support services for private sector development, to support socio-economic development and EU accession across the Regionis. The EUR 145 million of capital pulled together under this Facility by the EU, international financial institutions (IFIs), beneficiaries and bilateral donors will effectively translate into over EUR 300 million of direct financing for SMEs in the region. The Guarantee Facility forms one pillar of WB EDIF and targets SMEs with growth potential and in need of lending to cover financing for both investment and working capital.

The Facility is coordinated by the European Investment Fund and implemented in close cooperation between the governments of the Western Balkans, the European Commission, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). IFIs, international organisations and bilateral donors active in the region, such as the World Bank, DEG, OECD and others participating in order to streamline the efforts to develop the private sector in the Western Balkans.

About Raiffeisen Bank

Raiffeisen Bank Albania is one of the largest banks in the country. Its asset base is close to EUR 2 billion. Raiffeisen Bank International purchased the Albanian Savings Bank in 2004 and over the last 12 years has completely transformed the old State Bank into a full service bank. Raiffeisen Bank has the widest branches and ATMs network in the country. Raiffeisen Bank offers the full range of banking products and services in the 4 key business sectors in which it operates - private individuals, micro business, small business and corporate business.

In addition, the bank has presented innovative alternative channels, including Internet Banking, Mobile Banking, SMS banking as well as Mobile payments. Raiffeisen Bank in Albania is always committed to offer an excellent service to its customers.

Press Contacts

EIF: David Yormesor
Tel.: + 352 42 66 88 346, E-Mail:

Raiffeisen Bank: Viola Ndoja Smaja
Tel.: + 355 4 275 588, E-Mail:

Source and further information: EIF

Geographical focus
  • Albania
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Cross-thematic/Interdisciplinary

Entry created by Ines Marinkovic on March 16, 2017
Modified on March 16, 2017