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Recovery Equity Fund of Funds of Bulgaria

    Date: 28 September 2023 - 31 August 2025

Open information session on the Bulgaria Recovery Equity Fund (REF) initiative for fund managers – 21 November 2023 in Sofia – check the agenda and event details here.

Check the presentations of the day here.

The EIF and the Republic of Bulgaria have launched a new fund of funds to support local businesses with access to equity finance leveraging EU resources.

The Recovery and Resilience Facility was established by Regulation (EU) 2021/241 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 February 2021, aiming to mitigate the economic and social impact of the coronavirus pandemic and make European economies and societies more sustainable, resilient and better prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the green and digital transitions.

Pursuant to the RRF Regulation, the Council of the European Union approved a recovery and resilience plan for Bulgaria pursuant to the Council Implementing Decision dated 28 April 2022 (“CID”), on the approval of the assessment of the Recovery and Resilience Plan for Bulgaria  (“RRP”).

Under the RRP, the Republic of Bulgaria has committed to set up equity financial instruments under Component 3 “Smart Industry”, Investment 2 (C3.I2): Economic Transformation Programme, with an allocation of up to EUR 180 million. In December 2022, the Republic of Bulgaria, represented by the Ministry of Innovation and Growth, entrusted the EIF with the management of this new equity instrument – now known as the Recovery Equity Fund of Funds (REF) of Bulgaria.



The REF invests into underlying funds managed by financial intermediaries (fund managers) that are selected according to the EIF’s standard procedures through the call for expression of interest as further described below. Underlying funds could be national or regional, new or existing, and should commit to invest into Bulgaria at least the equivalent of the contribution received from REF. 

The policy objective of the REF is to provide access to finance to Final Recepients in the form of equity or quasi-equity investments through three windows:

  • an Innovation Window - with an initial budget of up to EUR 67.5 million - to increase companies’ innovation capacity and accelerate their productivity improvements towards a knowledge economy;
  • a Growth Window - with an initial budget of up to EUR 67.5 million - for further development and the growth of companies;
  • An Infrastructure Window - with an initial budget of up to EUR 27 million - targeting investments that primarily contribute to climate neutrality and accelerate the green and digital transition in priority sectors.

The REF does not invest directly in businesses. The underlying investments in portfolio companies will be carried out via the REF's selected fund partners.

Fund managers – apply here

The EIF selects financial intermediaries based on a standard application and evaluation process including due diligence. Please carefully read the call for expression of interest document and check the eligibility criteria before applying.

Date of publication of the call: 2 October 2023 
(submission date taken as of email receipt by the EIF)

Deadline for applications: 31 August 2025 
(date of email receipt by the EIF)

Applications (and clarification questions) must be sent solely by email to the REF Bulgaria team here


Please see here a summary with the EIF’s responses to the FAQ.

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


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