Who we are

The EIF designs financial instruments that absorb part of the risk that is taken by banks, guarantee institutions, microfinance lenders and funds when they finance small businesses, individuals, and infrastructure projects. This encourages funds to invest, banks to lend, and private investment to be crowded in, creating a more sustainable financing ecosystem for Europe’s small and medium-sized enterprises.

What we do

We work with our partners to deploy capital in areas that need it, from businesses active in the digital economy to traditional farmers. This means identifying underserved areas, whether that be geographical, or structural like early-stage or growth-stage businesses, designing and deploying an appropriate financial instrument, and ensuring not only that European entrepreneurs get the support they need, but also that markets and sectors of strategic importance to the EU are developed and strengthened. It means knowing our markets so well that one comparatively small commitment to a carefully selected bank or fund can generate millions of additional euros for European businesses. In these efforts, we work closely with the European Commission and the EIB to ensure that our interventions have a clear policy direction, pursuing a greener, digital and more inclusive Europe.

Our stakeholder

The EIF works with many stakeholders –the European Commission, Member States, a large network of banks, including national promotional institutions, leasing and micro-finance providers, lending platforms, private credit, venture capital and private equity funds, private investors and, of course, our parent organisation, the European Investment Bank (EIB). Resources invested by the EIF include the EIF’s own funds as well as resources entrusted to us by the EIB and the European Union, national and regional institutions, and other public bodies, or private capital.

Our main objectives

By taking SME risk, we pursue our two main statutory objectives:

  • fostering EU objectives, notably in the field of entrepreneurship, growth, innovation, employment, social inclusion, regional development, climate action, sustainability and pursuing the green and digital transitions
  • generating an appropriate return for our shareholders, through a commercial pricing policy and a balance of fee and risk based income.

EIF in 2024

In 2024, we will be celebrating the EIF’s 30 years anniversary: an opportunity to look back at the success of helping over 2 million small businesses with access to finance. During these years, the EIF’s role has always been to identify and pro-actively tackle market gaps, and to pursue EU policy priorities.

We intend to be an agile facilitator between policy and markets and want to continue acting as an active developer of the European VC and PE ecosystem. We are leveraging our expertise to make Europe competitive and ‘future-proof’ – our video explains why we #BelieveInSmall

Flagship initiatives to support SMEs

InvestEU – implemented by the EIF on behalf of the European Union, is one of the main driving forces behind our work. With its thematic focus designed to strengthen European competitiveness and strategic autonomy in key sectors, it mobilises funding for the key public policy goals at EU level. The InvestEU programme represented around 45% of our activity during 2022, introducing several novelties, such as the first guarantee instrument dedicated exclusively to sustainability, focus on female representation, investments in climate and infrastructure funds, and a dedicated mechanism to support scale-ups and IPOs.


EIF Headquarters

37B, avenue J.F. Kennedy
L-2968 Luxembourg


(+352) 2485-1

(+352) 2485-81200