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imfino launches pilot of SME financing product in Austria

Representatives from the City of Vienna and Erste Bank were present at the kick-off of imfino’s new financing tool for small businesses.

imfino, in cooperation with Erste Bank and the Vienna Business Agency, has developed a new financing tool for one-person, as well as small and medium enterprises that currently lack the securities necessary to get traditional bank loans. In the future, “imfino SME services” will help these target groups get short-term bridging loans. The test phase for this service will start in November 2017.

And this is how it works: in a first step, SMEs sign up with imfino’s online marketplace platform. Then follows a data check through external partners to determine how much financing they will get. Once the scope of the loan has been fixed, the companies can access the money via a trust account. Another online platform that will help SMEs with marketing and sales is currently in planning.

Vienna’s Councillor for Finance and Economy Renate Brauner expects initiatives like imfino to benefit women in particular and help close the existing gender pay gap in the SME sector, where women entrepreneurs earn on average considerably less than their male counterparts. However, the income situation of SME enterprises is generally precarious - a problem that needs to be eliminated. After all, Vienna is a city of “creative minds, people with ideas,” stressed Brauner and referred in this regard to the city government’s efforts to remove bureaucratic stumbling blocks and assist small businesses. She also admitted, though, that the income issue remained and said she was therefore “glad that Social City Vienna and Erste Bank decided to tackle this issue.”

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