11.03.2024 BDB has supported 27 333 Bulgarian micro, small and medium-sized companies

The Bulgarian Development Bank Group has supported 27 333 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises for its 25-year history, or about 1 100 companies per year. This is shown by the bank’s results since its establishment in 1999 until today.

Its capital of BGN 1.2 billion has been multiplied many times, leading to the provision and granting of financing for the Bulgarian business, including under special government mandates, in the amount of BGN 7.4 billion.

The bank has 22 international partnerships, from which it has received funds in the amount of BGN 2.47 billion over the years.

BDB is the only bank in our country that, in addition to direct financing, also lends resources through other credit institutions. The amount of indirect loans under the so-called on-landing programme is BGN 1.61 billion. Again through the commercial banks, thanks to the risk-sharing guarantee programmes, the commercial banks have granted loans to the business amounting to BGN 3.6 billion.

The Bulgarian Development Bank was established in 1999 under the name Encouragement Bank. At that time, the new structure was tasked with supporting the economic and social development of the country. At its launch, the main shareholder was the Ministry of Finance. Currently, BDB is 100%-owned by the Bulgarian state, and its principal is the Ministry of Innovation and Growth.

The bank’s group includes 4 subsidiaries – the National Guarantee Fund (established in 2008), BDB Microfinancing (successor of the JOBS Program of the United Nations Development Programme, created in 2010), BDB Leasing and Capital Investment Fund (established in 2019).

Initially, the bank’s activity was aimed at supporting small and medium-sized enterprises under an individual package of five programs for investment lending. Eight years after the beginning, months after the accession of Bulgaria to the EU as a full member in 2007, the Bulgarian Development Bank was established by a special act. The idea was the Encouragement Bank to become an equal partner of the European Development Banks, which exist in almost all EU member states.

In 2008, in order to mitigate the negative effects of the global financial crisis on the Bulgarian economy, the government capitalized BDB with BGN 480 million. This is part of the “Market flexibility” measures, and the money was intended for targeted refinancing of commercial banks and facilitating the access of SMEs and agricultural producers to financial resources.

At the end of 2009, the first national guarantee scheme was launched, with 11 commercial banks becoming partners.

In 2015, BDB provided BGN 1 billion to finance the National Program for Energy Efficiency of Multifamily Residential Buildings.

In 2020, for the second time since its establishment, BDB was entrusted with the key anti-crisis role in the country – this time because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The capital of the bank was increased by BGN 700 million with a mandate from the government to develop measures to deal with the negative consequences on the economy, and the bank created programmes to support businesses and citizens.

The year of 2023 was also key for BDB, when its two-year accreditation process by the European Commission ended. It has become the only institution in our country that is an implementing partner of the Commission in Bulgaria under the Invest EU Programme, as well as the only encouraging institution in the EU with such a government mandate. In the same year, BDB also signed a contract with the European Investment Bank for the total amount of BGN 350 million to improve access to financing, encourage employment and accelerate the ecological transition of small and medium-sized enterprises in the country.

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