Enterprise Financing

Enterprise financing is one of Economisti Associati’s main areas of activity. Since establishment, the company has implemented projects across a variety of financing instruments (bank lending, equity and quasi equity financing, credit guarantees, export financing, etc.) covering all stages of the ‘project cycle’ (identification & design, preparation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation), including the management of some equity and quasi equity facilities in the Balkans.

In the area of bank lending, Economisti Associati has been providing assistance to commercial banks and development finance institutions to support the expansion and/or the upgrading of their SME lending, through the development of new products, the restructuring of organizational structures, the secondment of staff, and the implementation of training activities (e.g. bank training courses in Uzbekistan). Lately, the company has been involved in the evaluation and impact assessment of several internationally funded credit lines for SME, with a review of operational arrangements and assessment of results achieved (e.g. evaluation of the credit line component of the World Bank-funded Competitiveness Enhancing Program).

Economisti Associati is also very active in the closely-related field of credit guarantee schemes. Activities in this area include business planning and financial modeling for new credit guarantee schemes (e.g. feasibility study for a credit guarantee mechanism for SME in Lesotho), the formulation of recommendations for the establishment of appropriate supervision frameworks (e.g. technical assistance for the establishment of a new guarantee scheme in Montenegro), the analysis and dissemination of best practices in the management of credit guarantee schemes (e.g. review of pricing policy, appraisal procedures and risk management techniques in Mediterranean countries), and the promotion of the credit guarantee concept in institutional and business circles (e.g. proposals for the setting up of a new scheme in Cyprus).

Economisti Associati has substantial experience in the design and management of SME equity and quasi equity investment schemes. Between 1999 and 2004, the company was appointed by the EBRD as the fund manager of two SME financing schemes in the Balkans, with a total of some US$ 20 million under management and 19 investments approved. In addition, Economisti Associati has been actively involved in the preparation of donor and/or IFI supported investment funds in Eastern Europe (regional venture capital funds in Russia, post privatization fund in Bulgaria) and Africa (new equity financing vehicle in East Africa, seed fund for innovation firms in Tunisia).

Finally, Economisti Associati has also been active in the fields of export finance, factoring and leasing. Experience includes the provision of hands-on technical assistance (e.g. support to the Serbia and Montenegro Export Credit Agency in developing a factoring facility in the framework of a World Bank-financed loan), the carrying out of market assessments and customer satisfaction studies (e.g. two surveys of SME exporters for SACE, Italy’s export credit agency), and the development of feasibility studies (e.g. pre-feasibility for a leasing facility in Djibouti).