Financial intermediaries invited to apply for EU finance for SMEs

    Date: 06 August 2014

EIF has launched three Calls for Expression of Interest targeting financial and credit institutions, funds and other intermediaries who provide finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and small Mid-caps across Europe.

Under the EU Competitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs programme (COSME), EIF will support equity and debt financing for SMEs. Under the Horizon 2020 InnovFin SME Guarantee facility, EIF will provide guarantees and counter-guarantees to financial intermediaries for debt financing of between EUR 25,000 and EUR 7.5 million to SMEs and small Mid-caps.

Once applications are received, after a thorough due diligence process, the EIF will select financial intermediaries which will then make the new finance available to European SMEs across a range of sectors.

About the EIF

The European Investment Fund's (EIF) central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment. EIF’s total net commitments to private equity funds amounted to over EUR 7.9bn at end 2013. With investments in over 470 funds, EIF is a leading player in the European venture and growth capital market due to the scale and the scope of its investments, especially in high-tech and early-stage segments. EIF’s guarantees loan portfolio totalled over EUR 5.6bn in over 300 operations at end 2013, positioning it as a major European SME guarantees actor and a leading micro-finance guarantor.

About the Horizon 2020 InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility

Horizon 2020 “InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators” consists of a range of tailored products – from guarantees for financial intermediaries to direct loans to enterprises as well as advisory services – to support from the smallest to the largest R&I projects in the EU and countries associated to Horizon 2020 which is the new EU research and innovation programme for 2014-2020. InnovFin SME Guarantee is a facility, providing guarantees and counter-guarantees on debt financing of between EUR 25,000 and EUR 7.5 million, in order to improve access to finance for innovative small and medium-sized enterprises and small midcaps (up to 499 employees). This facility, building on the success of the Risk Sharing Instrument’s (RSI) pilot under the Seventh Framework Programme, is implemented by EIF and will be rolled out through financial intermediaries – banks and other financial, credit and guarantee institutions – in EU Member States and Horizon 2020 Associated Countries. Under this facility, financial intermediaries are guaranteed by the EIF against a portion of their losses incurred on the debt financing covered under the facility.

About the COSME Programme

COSME mobilises loans and equity investments to SMEs in Europe. The COSME programme funds guarantees and counter-guarantees to financial institutions to help them provide more loans and lease finance to SMEs. This facility also includes securitisation of SME debt finance portfolios. The COSME programme also invests in equity funds that provide risk capital to SMEs mainly in the expansion and growth stages. The COSME programme builds on the success of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (2007-2013) which helped to mobilise more than EUR 16 billion of loans and EUR 2.8 billion of venture capital to over 328,000 SMEs in Europe.

Press contacts:

EIF: David Yormesor, Tel.: +352 42 66 88 346, e-mail:


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