Operational Programme under the SME Initiative

Programme description

Main Objective

By this decision the Commission adopts the Bulgarian Operational programme under the SME Initiative for support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the Investment for growth and jobs goal in Bulgaria. The budget of the programme has been taken from Operational Programme Innovation and Competitiveness that had earmarked EUR 102 million for bank guarantees. Preserving this original goal, the SME Initiative programme will implement this scheme in a more efficient manner thanks to the involvement of the EIB group and funds from Horizon 2020.

The Operational Programme will substantially contribute to better access to finance for SMEs in Bulgaria and contribute towards the achievement of the European goals to reduce disparities between the levels of development of the EU’s various regions by promoting economic growth, job creation and competitiveness. This will be done through allocating part of its ERDF contribution to the SME Initiative for an uncapped loan guarantee instrument providing a continuous impetus towards appropriate financial instruments to enable easier access to finance to the players of the Bulgarian economy and pave the way for economic prosperity, environmental sustainability and social development

Funding priorities

The aims of this intervention, as well as the expected results are:

  • Easing access to finance;
  • Increase in SME investment activities;
  • Increase productivity of SMEs

Finally, this Programme will also contribute towards the Union strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, particularly to Smart Growth through Thematic objective 3.

Expected impacts

  • Some eur 400 to eur 600 mln of loans to SMEs
  • Some 3000 SMEs benefitting from it


  • Bulgaria


  • ERDF: 102,000,000.00 €

Thematic priorities

  • TO3 – SMEs competitiveness

Financial information

Total OP budget: 102,000,000.00 €

Total EU contribution: 102,000,000.00 €

CCI number: 2015BG16RFSM001