Western Balkan Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility (EDIF)

PSD was added to the list of sectors eligible for assistance under the WBIF in 2011. The 5th WBIF Steering endorsed a comprehensive Private Sector Development project. It is the first initiative in the private sector development area initiated through the WBIF. The project proposal was put forward by Serbia on behalf of the beneficiaries in the region and has been supported by the EIB/EIF and EBRD.

Over the period 2011-2015, the project is expected to attract approximately EUR 142 million of initial capital from the EC, IFIs, beneficiaries and bilateral donors, resulting in estimated leverage for SMEs of more than EUR 300 million. Over time, the project can become a flexible channel of attracting and leveraging financing for private sector development in the Western Balkan region.

The project provides for a comprehensive set of complementary measures to improve access to finance for SMEs in the Western Balkans and to foster economic development in the region through creation of preconditions for establishment and growth of innovative and high-potential companies. In doing so, the project also intends to stimulate the emergence of a Venture Capital market in the region by setting the foundations of the Venture capital ecosystem, as well as disseminating best market practices.

To this end, the project is expected to:

  • provide early to development and expansion stages equity financing in innovative SMEs,
  • provide development and expansion capital to established SMEs with high-growth potential in their respective markets,
  • improve small SMEs access to bank lending and lower the cost of borrowing for expansion stage by providing SME loan portfolio guarantees to financial intermediaries,
  • support beneficiary governments in implementation of priority reforms to create favourable regulatory environment for innovative and high-potential SMEs.

The project will thus address the private sector development issues by coupling the enhanced provision of finance with changes in the regulatory environment for targeted SMEs. The set of complementary measures will also allow all beneficiaries to benefit according to their specific needs, market maturity and regulatory environment conditions.

Further information on this initiative can be found here and in the meeting documents from the WBIF SC meeting. EDIF-related issues will also be discussed in a series of consultations with the beneficiaries, donors, experts and international organisations to identify the reform priorities for the region with a view to improving the regulatory environment for innovative and high-potential SME. Simultaneously, EDIF partners are working together to launch EDIF in the course of 2012. Other EDIF-specific links will be posted here shortly.

OECD, with financial support from the EU, is engaged in a number of key PSD related initiatives in South East Europe:

The EDIF project will be implemented in close cooperation between the beneficiaries, European Commission, IFIs (EIB/EIF and EBRD taking the lead) and international organizations active in the region, such as Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), to streamline the Western Balkan private sector development efforts.

Project type
  • Other
Geographical focus
  • Western Balkans
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Cross-thematic/Interdisciplinary
April 2011 - April 2015

Entry created by Ines Marinkovic on May 21, 2012
Modified on November 23, 2012