Who can apply for EFSI financing?
Private sector entities
Large businesses, special purpose vehicles and medium-sized companies with up to 3 000 employees (also called midcaps) can benefit from project loans or loans to finance research and innovation. Midcaps and small companies of less than 250 staff can also apply for growth finance or intermediated lending provided by financial partners, and may benefit from EIF’s intermediated equity or guarantee products.
Public sector entities
Local authorities, public sector companies or other government-related entities may benefit from project loans or loans to finance research and innovation. Smaller projects may also be financed through EIB’s intermediated lending provided by partner institutions.
Banks, national promotional banks or other financial institutions
The EIB provides loans to institutions acting as financial intermediaries by financing small investments by SMEs (less than 250 employees), mid-sized companies of up to 3 000 employees, or local authorities. Financial intermediaries may also benefit from EIB portfolio guarantee instruments as well as EIF products.
Funds and any other form of collective investment vehicles
EFSI can support investments in equity, hybrid or debt funds with a focused investment strategy addressing EU priorities and through the EIF funds focusing on small and medium-sized companies.
The EIB may co-invest or provide co-financing to eligible projects alongside third parties, such as investment platforms, either under fully delegated structures or with active EIB involvement into the due diligence and structuring process.
How are projects selected for EFSI financing?
To benefit from EFSI resources deployed through the EIB, your projects need to undergo the standard EIB due diligence process. This process helps to verify if your project is eligible for EIB financing. If it is and the operational department proposes that it be backed by EFSI, it will be presented to the independent Investment Committee to decide on the use of the EU-guarantee.
In particular, EFSI projects need to be:
- Economically and technically sound
- In at least one of the EFSI eligible sectors as defined in Article 9 of the EFSI Regulation
- Contributing to EU objectives, including sustainable growth and employment
- Mature enough to be bankable
- Priced in a manner commensurate with the risk taken
Following a positive outcome of the due diligence process, projects are submitted for approval by the relevant EIB Group Governing Bodies.
How should promoters present projects for EFSI financing?
Project promoters should follow the usual EIB loan application procedures.
How should financial institutions and fund management companies offering financial products apply for EFSI financing?
Eligible financial intermediaries wishing to apply for EFSI financing deployed through EIF should refer to the EIF's website:
For more information on the EIF’s role and activities under EFSI see: How does EIF contribute to EFSI.
How should small and medium-sized companies apply for EFSI financing?
SMEs and midcaps interested in applying for loans and equity capital under EFSI should contact EIB and EIF financial intermediaries directly. Please note that EIF does not provide funding or guarantees to individuals or companies and that the final funding approval lies solely with the financial intermediary. For details see: EIF for SME finance.