Lithuania’s Focus on SME Growth and the EBRD’s Role

Read the Life in Transition special report

.

Matti Hyyrynen

About Matti Hyyrynen

Matti Hyyrynen is Head of the Baltics at the European bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). He joined the Bank in 2001. Prior to that, he was Managing Director and a Member of the Board at Garras Bank – Naspa Dublin. Earlier, he worked as the Assistant General Manager at Postipankki Ltd in Helsinki and in London. He is a board member of Teo Lt, Siauliu Bankas and Estonian Cell. He hold a Master’s degree in Mathematics from Helsinki University.

Lithuania’s economy has been both consistent and resilient in recent years, effectively recovering from the 2008 financial crisis that affected many EU member states so heavily. Since 2011, the country has achieved an impressive growth rate of four per cent per year and it joined the Eurozone in 2015. In order to ensure further progress, the government plans to encourage increased public and private funding in business projects over the next three years. The goal is to make Lithuania a hub for innovative technology and finance in order to help new businesses and talented entrepreneurs grow.

The EBRD and Lithuania have been working together since 1992, when the Bank made its first investments in the country. Over the following 25 years the Bank has invested over €650 million into 79 projects in Lithuania. While the challenges and tasks underwent considerable changes during this period, the EBRD remains strongly committed to supporting Lithuania’s further progress.

One example is the Bank’s support of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). An important source of finance for SMEs comes from the European Union Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) programme, implemented in Lithuania by UAB “Investment and Business Guarantees” (INVEGA), an institution established by the Lithuanian government “to develop and implement effective solutions for promoting entrepreneurship”. INVEGA implements and manages a range of global grant and financial instruments that are aimed at enhancing the financing available to local SMEs.

As a long-term investor in private equity and venture capital funds in Lithuania, the EBRD has signed a cooperation agreement with INVEGA. As part of this agreement, which is the first of its kind, the EBRD will play an important role in advising INVEGA on the establishment and ongoing implementation of four private equity and venture funds, supported by ESIF. These four funds will enable almost €60 million of ESIF funds to be deployed, together with additional financial resources, to the benefit of over 70 early- and growth-stage small and medium-sized enterprises in Lithuania.

The partnership between the EBRD and INVEGA will help enable the Lithuanian economy to continue to grow and innovate. The financial instruments will target development, venture capital and business angel funding, which is important for attracting young entrepreneurial talents and businesses.

Finally, Lithuania’s goal of increasing its innovative approach and financial capacity is in line with the EBRD’s priorities of promoting sustainable economic growth for the country. This is vital for the long-term plans of a country that has proven to be both economically stable and reliable, in recent years. The process starts from within; building up a domestic base in Lithuania that facilitates access to finance for SMEs and getting them “up and running”. Building up a country’s infrastructure and promoting sustainable growth is what the Bank does and will continue to do in partnership with Lithuania.

 

_______________

The views expressed in this opinion editorial are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Emerging Europe’s editorial policy.

RELATED ARTICLES

Harris Georgiades: Cyprus’s Restored Business Environment Offers Investment Opportunities

Emerging Europe EBRD Sea port city of Larnaca, Cyprus. This picture was taken through the window of the plane.

CEE NPL Resolutions – Now and Then

NPL central and eastern europe

The Bucharest Stock Exchange Has Started the Year on a Promising Note

stock exchange bucharest

Montenegro: Joining up Agriculture and Tourism

montenegro ebrd emerging europe

EBRD Annual Meeting 2017 — EBRD President’s Press Conference

Transition in Government and the Economy Remains Vital in CEE

Cloudy skies above the Hungarian Parliament Building Budapest.

Innovation Is the Key Growth Driver

innovation ebrd

Leszek Balcerowicz: Ukraine Can Learn from Poland’s Economic History

The Fight Against Corruption in Europe’s Emerging Economies

BUCHAREST, ROMANI

Innovation and Consolidation — Key Trends in Polish Banking

Improving the Business Environment Is Vital for Moldova’s Government

ebrd moldova

Greener and More Resilient: Energy Sector Reforms in Serbia for the Benefit of All

Belgrade, Serbia - confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers

Divided Economy That May Unite (Or Draw Apart)

Sergei Guriev: Emerging Europe Countries are Happy Alike and Unhappy in Their Own Ways

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC - 21 JUNE 2014: People on the streets of Prague, Czech Republic. Prague is one of the most visited city in Europe with over 5 million visitors every year.

Belarus is Bringing Opportunities for European Companies

Great Stone

Growth is Greater Across Emerging Europe, Despite Risks and Global Challenges

ebrd gdp

Emerging Europe Has Already ‘Emerged’ for the Most and it’s a Transition to Be Proud Of

Ukrainian Agribusiness — a Jewel in a Crown

Wheat ukraine agriculture ebrd

Globalisation Needs to Work, Not Only for the Few but for the Most and in Demonstrable Ways

Global Spread

Will we Ever Overcome the Innovation Deficit in CEE?

Europe IT Map

EU Membership Offers Real Prospects of Social Progress Gains

Beautiful view on cute backyard in sunny day, fresh green grass

Sir Suma Chakrabarti: The Opportunities of Challenge

suma chakrabarti ebrd

Georgia’s Hospitality Sector Is Starting to Develop

georgia hospitality

Ukraine’s Banking Sector Reconstruction Brings Asset Sales and Opportunities in Equal Measure

Gavel and Ukrainian hryvnias on a wooden table

Moldova: a Regional Economic Platform Vision

Aerial Landscape View Of Chisinau, Moldova

EBRD Annual Meeting 2017 — Board of Directors’ Opening Session

The Dragon is Knocking at our Doors

china serbia silk road

Cautious Upturn in Emerging Europe Haunted by the Spectre of Uncertainty

Donald Trump

Winning the Fight for Female Talent in Central and Eastern Europe

pwc women

Legal Reforms are Improving the Existing Problematic Situation in the Ukrainian Agro Market

ukraine agriculture

Switched on Heads of Expansion Are Developing their Own Business Rankings, Adjusted to Their Companies’ Realities

global expansion

The Cyprus Dispute: Recognising the Changing Rules of the Conflict

cyprus emerging europe ebrd

Strengthening the Resilience of the Economy of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Montenegro EBRD annual meeting

Kazakhstan is Beginning to Explore Belt and Road Opportunities

Astana Kazakhstan

Poland Government’s Development Plan and the EBRD’s Role

Warsaw EBRD annual meeting

Fear of Hostilities Holds Back Bosnia and Herzegovina’s FDI Performance

ebrd bosnia emerging europe

Emerging Europe Makes Great Strides in Improving Business Regulation for Entrepreneurs

Skopje Macedonia

The EBRD Helps Jordan’s Infrastructure to Accommodate an Influx of Refugees

ebrd jordan refugees

Lower Imbalances Should Support more Inclusive Growth Going Forward

Mixed currency notes

An Independent Judicial System is Essential to Attract FDI

legal system CEE

UniCredit Focusses on Organic Growth in Central and Eastern Europe

unicredit ebrd

EBRD Annual Meeting 2017 — EBRD Chief Economist’s Press Briefing

Albania’s Agribusiness Support Facility – With a Little Help From Your Friends

View of the central square with the monument of Skanderbeg in the Albanian capital Tirana

High Dollarisation the Largest Challenge for Georgia’s National Bank

Small Businesses – the Backbone of the Egyptian Economy

women egypt emerging europe

Günter Verheugen: Populist Politics and Euroscepticism Will Have an Impact on CEE

eu guenter verheugen

Cyprus: The Green Economy Shows the Way Forward

Cyprus coastline view, turquoise sea, white beaches

Georgia on My Mind – Where Beauty Meets Business

georgia ebrd emerging europe

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *