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The European Commission’s new Programme for Employment and Social Innovation ("EaSI") aims at contributing to the implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy by supporting the EU's objective of high level employment, guaranteeing adequate social protection, fighting against social exclusion and poverty and improving working conditions.

EIF has been entrusted by the European Commission to manage and implement the EaSI Guarantee Financial Instrument, which is funded from the EaSI Programme and is specifically dedicated to microfinance and social entrepreneurship finance pursuing the following objectives:

The EaSI Guarantee Financial Instrument builds on the success of the European Progress Microfinance Facility (Progress Microfinance) an EU initiative launched in 2010 and managed and implemented by EIF.

How does the EaSI Guarantee Financial Instrument work?

EIF does not provide any type of finance to micro-entrepreneurs or social enterprises directly. Through the EaSI Guarantee Financial Instrument, EIF offers guarantees and counter-guarantees to financial intermediaries which are selected after an application under a Call for Expression of Interest followed by a due diligence process. Once selected by EIF, these partners act as EaSI financial intermediaries.

Thanks to the risk-sharing mechanism between the financial intermediaries and the European Commission, the EaSI Guarantee enables selected microcredit providers and social enterprises investors to expand the range of enterprises they can finance, facilitating access to finance for target groups who might be having difficulties in accessing the conventional credit market.

Who can benefit from the EaSI Guarantee Financial
Instrument and what products will be offered by EaSI financial intermediaries?  

Under the EaSI Guarantee Financial Instrument, EIF is providing capped guarantees and counter-guarantees covering loan portfolios in the microfinance and social entrepreneurship segments.


Social Entrepreneurship

Portfolios of Micro-loans up to EUR 25,000 for: Portfolios of debt financing products (including loans, mezzanine loans,subordinated debts, leases and profit-sharing loans) up to EUR 500,000 for:

Vulnerable persons who have lost or are at risk of losing their job, or have difficulty in entering or re-entering the labour market, or are at risk of social exclusion, or are socially excluded, and are in a disadvantaged position with regard to access to the conventional credit market and who wish to start up or develop their own micro- enterprises.

Micro-enterprises in both start-up and development phase, especially micro-enterprises which employ persons as referred to in the above mentioned definition of Micro-borrowers.
Social Enterprises
Enterprises with either an annual turnover not exceeding EUR 30 million, or an
annual balance sheet total not exceeding EUR 30 million which are not
themselves a collective investment undertaking.

Who is eligible to become EIF’s financial intermediary under the EaSI Guarantee Financial Instrument?

Eligible financial intermediaries are public and private bodies established on a national, regional or local level in one or several EaSI Participating Countries, authorised to provide microcredit for persons and microenterprises and/or financing for social enterprises.

Examples of intermediaries potentially eligible for an EaSI Guarantee Financial Instrument are:

  • in respect of the field of microfinance: financial institutions, microfinance institutions/providers, leasing companies, guarantee schemes, guarantee institutions or other institutions authorized to provide microfinance loans/guarantees or risk-sharing structures according to the applicable legislation;
  • in the field of the social entrepreneurship: financial institutions, guarantee schemes, guarantee institutions, foundations, family offices, social investment funds or other institutions duly authorised to provide loans/guarantees or risk-sharing structures according to the applicable legislation.

At the date of publication of the Call for Expression of Interest, the countries covered by the EaSI Programme comprise EU Member States, Iceland and Turkey and may include other associated countries having entered into relevant agreements with the European Union. Additional eligible EFTA, Candidate and Potential Candidate countries may be added to the Participating Countries.

How to apply to EaSi Guarantee Financial Instrument

For financial institutions:

If you are eligible, you can apply by downloading all the application documents published here below by 30 September 2023. EIF will select intermediaries after a due diligence process. 

For entrepreneurs and micro-enterprises:
Are you looking for a micro-loan? Download here the list of financial intermediaries currently operating under the EaSI Guarantee Financial Instrument.
For information about finance available under further EU initiatives, please visit


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