European Investment Bank (EIB) and Societe Generale have rolled out a EUR300m credit line in support of projects by French small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The partnership is expected to enable independent, development-minded French SMEs with fewer than 250 employees to contract loans with terms of at least two years throughout the Societe Generale network on the EIB’s preferential terms.

The new agreement comes under the EUR30bn financing support plan to assist European SMEs launched by the EIB in September 2008 for the period 2008-2011.

In 2009 alone, the EIB said that it had lent EUR12.7bn, i.e., 55% more than in 2008, to banks in the form of credit lines for the financing of small businesses. The EIB is said to have been helped more than 50 000 SMEs across the EU in this way.