Financial instruments co-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) can be used to invest in the growth and development of EU citizens and their skills - thereby promoting employment and social inclusion. More Member States are starting to use financial instruments for social development purposes, and fi-compass is involved with helping to improve understanding about opportunities from ESF financial instruments.
- Handbook - Introducing financial instruments for the European Social Fund;
- Factsheet - Financial instruments working with microfinance; and
- Case study from Poland - Financing the social economy
These new resources are designed to help managing authorities and other ESF stakeholders to implement socially-oriented financial instruments.
Assisting greater uptake of ESF-supported loans, guarantees or equity investments can lead to more opportunities for socially vulnerable people. Young people, the unemployed, migrants, and citizens with disabilities are all among the main target groups for ESF financial instruments. Participants at the fi-compass events next week will hence hear about how the ESF can be used in different ways to encourage social inclusion and employment.
Loans co-financed by the ESF for example can be useful for helping individuals to invest in lifelong learning, or provide financing to social enterprises and similar institutions working with marginalised communities. Other useful instruments include microcredits (very small loans to borrowers who lack collateral) and guarantees (where assurance is given to lenders that their capital will be repaid if a borrower defaults on a loan). Equity in new small and medium businesses is another instrument that has also been funded by the ESF in the past and this type of investment continues to remain relevant in specific circumstances.
Registration closes tomorrow (January 27th) for the ESF conference and the microfinance event is already full. You can follow the events’ outcomes on our past event pages which will contain video recordings of the presentations and copies of the material discussed.