Our central mission is to support Europe's small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. To this end, we aim at satisfying existing and future market needs by designing innovative financial products addressed to our partners (banks, guarantee, leasing and microfinance institutions, private equity and venture capital funds, among others), acting as our financial intermediaries.
By offering an Integrated Risk Finance Product Range of SME finance to our intermediaries, we complement the products offered by the European Investment Bank (EIB) with which we form the EIB Group.
Our clients are a wide range of financial intermediaries, such as banks, mutual guarantee funds, leasing companies and special purpose vehicles providing funding to beneficiary SMEs.
We provide funding (equity and loans), guarantees and technical assistance to a broad range of micro-credit providers, from non-bank financial institutions to well established banks to make microfinance a fully-fledged segment of the European financial sector.
While our equity instruments aim to improve the availability of risk capital for high-growth and innovative SMEs, we also target the debt requirements, as many SMEs seek finance through this more traditional route. Therefore we also provide guarantees and credit enhancement through securitisation to improve the lending capacity of our financial intermediaries and thus the availability and terms of debt for beneficiary SMEs. We carry out our activities in the European Union (EU) Member States, in EU Candidate and Potential Candidate Countries and in the European Free Trade Association countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland).
For our activity, we deploy either our own resources or resources mandated by our shareholders (the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Commission) or third parties. More about our shareholders
The EIF manages resources entrusted by the EIB through
The European Commission allocates resources to the EIF on a trust basis, making use of EIF operational expertise to manage the various joint initiatives created to reach specific targets, such as :
Resources from third parties (non-shareholder sources)
EIF advises and manages a number of Funds-of-Funds for third party investors, including national and regional governments as well as private and strategic investors. The objective is to support EU policy objectives and provide a wide choice of financial solutions tailored to complement existing national schemes to support SMEs. EIF has rolled out several dedicated facilities equipped with increased investment capacity across Europe and in partnership with leading national institutions.