New green finance for SMEs in North Macedonia

  • 30 million euros in funding from the new Green Finance Institute
  • Finance provides performance-based incentives to small and underserved individuals in North Macedonia
  • Incentive support and technical cooperation support from the United Nations and the government of North Macedonia

New credit options with performance-based incentives for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and credit-worthy individuals and households from North Macedonia for their investments in renewable energy and energy-saving solutions such as photovoltaics, heat pumps, inverters, solar panels and efficient heating systems.

The new €30 million Green Finance Facility (GFF) was launched in Skopje last week, with representatives from the Government of North Macedonia, the United Nations (UN) family, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and business representatives. Banks of the country gathered to celebrate a big milestone.

“Considering that all countries are dealing with many challenges such as post-Covid economic recovery and the energy crisis, I believe this project is a great opportunity to express our strong commitment to products targeted at SMEs and individuals from underserved groups. Accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and achieving sustainable development goals,” said Fatimir Baitiki, Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs of the Government of North Macedonia.

As part of the package, GFF will pay performance-based payments of up to 10 percent of loans to SMEs, and 30 percent of performance-based loan principal to targeted groups. The target groups include female-headed households, single parents, families with disabilities, Roma, workers affected by Covid-19, cash recipients and returnees.

More broadly, GFF helps reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions and contributes to clean air in North Macedonia.

“The GFF aims to bring the benefits of the green transition to SMEs and groups in society,” said Rossana Dudzic, UN Resident Coordinator in North Macedonia. Investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency are easier and more affordable for businesses and homes.

The program is aligned with and supports the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (SDFF).

“The EBRD is delighted that this strong partnership with the Government of North Macedonia and the United Nations has enabled us to launch this new facility. It will leverage our strong relationships with local financial institutions to expand the availability of green finance to local SMEs,” said Aleksandra Vukosavljević, EBRD Director of Financial Institutions, Western Balkans and Eastern Europe. They gave their opinion.

“Two years ago, this project was just one of more than 150 proposals from more than 100 countries that requested joint funding from the United Nations’ common SDG fund,” said Armen Gregorian, UNDP resident representative in North Macedonia. “Amid intense competition, the GFF was selected as one of the top 10 programs recognized for its superior impact, investment readiness and high co-financing potential.”

Rania Sharsher, Director of Peace and Development Coordination at the International Organization for Migration (IOM), commented: “Implementation of this innovative climate solution involves governments, UN agencies, international financial institutions, think tanks and private sector banks. It includes all. This model can be an example of partnership development that can be scaled up and replicated in other countries.

In his video speech, UNECE Deputy Executive Director Dimitri Mariasin said: “In our view, the project’s focus on SMEs is very important because they account for up to 60 percent of global carbon emissions, but often lack access to climate change.” Financial or transitional financing. We need to have SMEs on board and have the finance, tools and technology to ensure countries go to zero in time.

The GFF is implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), IOM and the United Nations Economic Commission (UNEC) with the EBRD as a partner international financial institution. It is financed by the Joint SDG Fund with co-financing from the Government of North Macedonia.

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