What we do
The EIF in 2020
Coronavirus: The EIB Group’s initiatives to address its economic consequences
Pan-European Guarantee Fund – EGF
Institutional investors
Equity products
AI Co-Investment Facility
Climate & Infrastructure Funds
Technology Transfer
European Angels Fund (EAF) - Co-investments with Business Angels
Venture capital
The Social Impact Accelerator (SIA)
Lower mid-market
Mezzanine Facility for Growth
EFSI Equity instrument
Single EU Equity Financial Instrument
COSME - Equity Facility for Growth
InnovFin Equity
Private equity secondary market transactions
EIF-NPI Equity Platform
ESCALAR Programme
Debt products
New ESIF ERDF Guarantee Fund initiative in Greece
EFSI Private Credit Programme
AGRI Guarantee Facility
AGRI Italy Platform Uncapped Guarantee Instrument
Credit enhancement
Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility (CCS GF)
ENSI - Securitisation Initiative
Erasmus+ Master Loan Guarantee Facility
Skills & Education Guarantee Pilot
EREM debt products
Single EU Debt Financial Instrument
Documentary Finance Facility – Bulgaria
The SME Initiative
The SME Initiative Bulgaria
The SME Initiative Finland
The SME Initiative Italy
The SME Initiative Malta
The SME Initiative Romania
The SME Initiative Spain
Inclusive finance
EaSI Financial Instruments
EaSI Capacity Building Investments Window
EaSI Guarantee Instrument
EaSI Funded Instrument
European Progress Microfinance Facility
Entrepreneurs supported through Progress Microfinance
European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI)
How does EIF contribute to EFSI
How to apply for EFSI financing
Regional Development - Country and sector-specific initiatives
Fons d’Inversió en Tecnologia Avançada (FITA) Catalonia
Dutch Future Fund (DFF)
Dutch Alternative Credit Instrument (DACI)
PORTUGAL BLUE: a new initiative for blue economy investments
JEREMIE Greece Reflows – Business Angels’ Co-Investment Equity Instrument
German Corona Matching Facility (CMF)
Portugal Growth programme
Croatian Growth Investment Programme (CROGIP)
AGRI Italy Platform Uncapped Guarantee Instrument
ALTER’NA – ESIF EARFD Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Baltic Innovation Fund 1 (BIF 1)
Baltic Innovation Fund 2 (BIF 2)
Central Europe Fund of Funds (CEFoF)
Croatian Venture Capital Initiative (CVCi FoF)
Competitiveness Fund-of-Funds for SMEs in Romania
The Cyprus Entrepreneurship Fund (CYPEF)
Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area Initiative East Guarantee Facility (DCFTA)
Dutch Growth Co-Investment Programme
Dutch Venture Initiative (DVI-II)
ESIF Fund-of-Funds Greece
EAFRD FoF Portugal
EAFRD FoF Romania
The ERP-EIF Facility
ERP-EIF Co-Investment Growth Facility
The LfA-EIF Facilities
The German Future Fund (GFF) - EIF Growth Facility
INAF – French National Agricultural Initiative
ESIF Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Malta
Regional Fund-of-Funds Romania
ESIF Fund-of-Funds Czech Republic
The Silesia EIF Fund of Funds
La Financière Région Réunion
The EIB Group Risk Enhancement Mandate (EREM)
Greater Anatolia Guarantee Facility (GAGF)
G43 - Anatolian Venture Capital Fund Project
InvestBG Equity Instrument
Romania Recovery Equity Fund of Funds
JEREMIE Romania Reflows – Equity Instrument
Luxembourg Future Fund (LFF)
Mezzanine 'Fund of Fund' for Germany (MDD)
Polish Growth Fund of Funds (PGFF)
Portugal Venture Capital Initiative (PVCi)
Scottish-European Growth Co-Investment Programme
Slovene Equity Growth Investment Programme (SEGIP)
Swedish Venture Initiative (SVI)
Turkish Growth and Innovation Fund (TGIF)
Western Balkans Enterprise Development & Innovation Facility (WB EDIF)
EAFRD FoF Greece
Irish Innovation Seed Fund (IISF)

How EFSI benefits SMEs in Europe - Eurobank case study: Belussis currants (Greece), food industry


Currants have been cultivated in Greece since Homeric times. The first written records of their trade date back to 12th century, while at the end of the 19th century their export made up a significant proportion of total Greek exports. “Currants are very rich in a variety of nutrients which are beneficial for human health. They’re used mainly in the production of sweets by bakeries and patisseries” explains John Panagiotopoulos, President of Belussis Currants.

Belussis Currants operates exclusively in the production, packaging and export of naturally sun-dried Greek black currants - also known as Corinthian raisins. The company was founded in 1906 in Pyrgos, Ilia, and remains a family business to this day. Having recently moved to a new factory in Platani, in Achaia, the company exports more than 90% of its produce all over the world, from Europe to the USA, Canada and New Zealand.

But the field of agriculture has been changing in the last few decades and Belussis Currants are not unaffected. “The biggest problem right now is the reduction in the availability of raw materials – the actual currants. 20 years ago, Greece used to produce and export 50,000 tonnes of currants. Now we barely hit twenty”, says John, who goes on to add that this shortage has led to price fluctuations and a subsequent inability to meet demand.

In 2017, the price of the currants almost doubled compared to 2015, creating a significant cashflow problem for Belussis Currants. In order to secure enough raw materials to keep up with demand, John turned to Eurobank, who extended an EU-guaranteed loan backed by EIF under the Investment Plan for Europe. “With the loan, I was able to buy enough currants to keep the business running full-speed. We avoided a slow-down in business. It gave us breathing space and allowed us to increase our working days from around 15 per month to 25” John points out.

With the shortages persisting, John sees an opportunity for the next generations: “There are fewer actors in this field today. With the crisis and so much unemployment, this is an opportunity for our youth to embrace our natural resources again and return to agriculture…” he concludes. 

Company: Belussis Currants (Greece)

Type of business: food industry


Financial intermediary: Eurobank

For further information about EIF intermediaries in Ireland, please refer to: http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/where/el/index.htm


We use cookies to give the best browser experience on our website. or change cookie settings.

Note: Following the recent withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, we are updating the relevant EIF.org pages.


Copyright ©

 European Investment Fund   – The European Investment Fund is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.