Supporting financial instruments through European Social Fund (ESF)

Published on 04 November 2015

Audrius Zabotka, INVEGA, Lithuania

Picture: Audrius Zabotka, INVEGA, Lithuania

On the 21st of October 2015 financial instruments delivering the ESF were discussed at a seminar in Rome. This seminar was part of a series of seminars conducted in Paris, Rome and Warsaw.

Around 80 participants attended the seminar in Rome. This shows high interest in financial instruments under the ESF. Following the opening and welcome speeches by Leonardo Colucci, European Commission and Pieter Coppens, European Investment Bank practical experiences on the use of financial instruments under the ESF were presented. This included three examples from Italy and one example from Lithuania.

Event participants

Picture: Event participants

The Enterprise promotion fund in Lithuania is a good example of promoting business start-ups, entrepreneurship and job creation with the help of microloans and training for final recipients. The JEREMIE initiative in Lombardy was a pioneering exercise. A lesson learned was the process of selecting he financial intermediary. The Marche region in Italy showed the use of microcredit to promote entrepreneurship, offering jobless individuals the resources and training needed to set up a business. Finally the JEREMIE experience in Sicily has been presented.

The presentations of practical examples was followed by a presentation on ESF programmes and the potential use of financial instruments, a presentation on the fi-compass support to ESF programmes and a presentation in financial instruments to support employment and social innovation under the EU programme for Employment and Social Innovation, going more in-depth on the potentials for microcredits.

Paolo Zaggia, Finlombarda, Italy

Picture: Paolo Zaggia, Finlombarda, Italy

The seminar concluded with training on the ex-ante assessment, a pivotal element in the design and set-up phases of the financial instrument. Participants were invited to discuss the basic steps of an ex-ante assessment. The groups were split by the most common thematic objectives in ESF programmes, TO8, TO9 and TO10. Lively table discussions lead to the conclusion that the ex-ante assessment as a central element for financial instruments, which can determine the success of the instrument.

Similarly useful events about ESF financial instruments are arranged for Paris (October 22nd) and in Warsaw (November 4th).

All the presentations from the Rome seminar are available on the fi-compass website.