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services on financial instruments under the
fi-compass is a unique platform for advisory
for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI).
European Structural and Investment Funds
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be an important tool for boosting EU agriculture.
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Investments, in a variety of forms, will help create a modern, dynamic agri-food
sector to create jobs and enhance growth in the EU. Financial Instruments will
Financial instruments using the European Social Fund
can support a wide range of financially viable
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Toolkit

December 2017
12.12.2017 Estonian success stories with financial instruments
Estonia holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union from July to December during 2017 and fi-compass has been speaking to some of the key actors involved with Estonian financial instruments to find out more about their perspectives. Estonia is one of the first Member States to have fully functional financial instruments contributing to all three of the objectives of EU policies for regional development, agriculture, and fisheries. Monika Kont from the Estonian Ministry of...
November 2017
23.11.2017 Financing investment guarantees for the agri‑food sector in southern France
A new agricultural case study has been published by fi-compass that describes a French financial instrument from the Occitanie/Pyrénées-Méditerranée Region. Our new case study explains how this innovative instrument makes use of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) via a fund of funds structure (named FOSTER TPE-PME) that includes First Loss Portfolio Guarantees supporting the agricultural, food and forestry sectors. Rural development...
13.11.2017 Closure performance data on the 2007-2013 financial engineering instruments
The European Commission has recently published its final 'Summary of data on the progress made in financing and implementing financial engineering instruments reported by the managing authorities' from the 2007-2013 programming period. This data reflects the state of play at closure of 2007-2013 operational programmes (up to end of March 2017) co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF). Information in the new Summary presents a positive...
April 2017
06.04.2017 Action planning for financial instrument life cycles: new fi-compass advisory video
A newly released fi-compass video explains how to successfully plan financial instruments that use the European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds. This new video from fi-compass provides a summary of the fi-compass publication entitled 'Developing an Action Plan'. It follows a step-by-step approach along the four main life cycle stages of a financial instrument: design, set-up, implementation, and winding-up. The 10 minutes-video provides, in a simple way and illustrated by examples and...
06.04.2017 New ex-ante assessments featured on fi-compass website
Member States and regions continue to advance with the set-up and implementation of financial instruments co-funded by the European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds. Ex-ante assessments for these financial instruments have been completed for a wide range of different ESI Fund financial instruments and fi-compass is collating information that has been published about these ex-ante assessments in a new section on our website. This new website section contains links to the summaries (and/...
06.04.2017 Perspectives from France’s CAP 3RI investment platform
Member States and regions can make use of financial instruments within 'investment platforms' that combine the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) alongside the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) and national, regional and private finance. An example of how such an investment platform can work in practice is explained by the fi-compass 'Third Industrial Revolution' case study from Northern France. This ERDF financial instrument, operating in the Nord-Pas de Calais area of the...
March 2017
22.03.2017 Slovenian financial instrument offers integrated package of business support sources
Slovenia's experiences with a financial instrument that offered investment support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF), with the corresponding national co-financing shares, are the subject of a newly-published fi-compass case study. This Slovenian 'Programme of Financial Engineering Instruments for SMEs' was designed by the Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy (in its capacity as managing authority) during the 2007-2013...
10.03.2017 First fi-compass microfinance workshop in Serbia
Our first fi-compass EaSI TA workshop in Serbia will be held next week on 14 March 2017 in Belgrade. Organised with close cooperation of AgroInvest (one of Serbia’s three non-bank microcredit institutions) this workshop is titled: 'Making it happen for small entrepreneurs – Microfinance!' and its objective centres on the explanation, organisation and promotion of microfinance opportunities for Serbia. Workshop timing coincides with crucial changes being considered in the country's microfinance...
January 2017
26.01.2017 Slovak ex-ante assessment covers five Operational Programmes
A fi-compass case study has been published recently showing how Slovakia managed the complex process of completing a combined ex-ante assessment for financial instruments within five Operational Programmes (OPs).   Information in the case study describes how a steering group was formed which included representatives from the five OP managing authorities and the Ministry of Finance, as well as other regional and national stakeholders. Martin Polonyi from Slovakia's Ministry of Finance...
19.01.2017 Financial instruments support credit for Italian cooperatives
A European Social Fund (ESF) case study from fi-compass explains Italian experience with a financial instrument in Lombardy supporting social cooperatives and social inclusion for disadvantaged people. By combining public and private resources, the financial instrument provided microloans totalling € 31.4 million to 7 850 individuals. These in turn invested in the capital of 526 social cooperatives. The fund manager, Finlombarda, is a financial institution that supports the economic and...
12.01.2017 Financial instruments support for Polish entrepreneurs
European Social Fund (ESF) stakeholders will be interested in a fi-compass case study that was released recently titled: ‘Creating new jobs and entrepreneurship through financial instruments – Mazovia, Poland’. This features a pilot scheme co-financed from Poland’s ESF Human Capital Operational Programme during the 2007-2013 programming period. Information in the fi-compass publication shows how statistics and studies confirmed that access to finance in Mazovia was a problem for individuals...
December 2016
07.12.2016 Filling gaps in agricultural and rural finance: new animated film released by fi-compass
While many of Europe's Rural Development Programme (RDP) managing authorities are already exploring what financial instruments can bring for their economies, others are still relatively new to the subject.  A new video from fi-compass has been produced to help these managing authorities move forward with using the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) for revolving financial instruments. The video is based around a story of a typical rural area with entrepreneurs...
October 2016
10.10.2016 New factsheet on Personal Loans published by fi-compass
A new fi-compass advisory publication explains how financial instruments can support Member State objectives for inclusion and employment. This factsheet, ‘Financial instruments working with personal loans’, is now available for downloading and sharing via the fi-compass website. Martina Rosato of the Italian managing authority for the European Social Fund (ESF) has extensive experience of dealing with financial instruments. For her “The factsheet is useful especially for a managing...
July 2016
04.07.2016 New fi-compass handbook on ex-ante assessment for rural development financial instruments
A new fi-compass publication has been launched featuring advice about developing financial instruments for the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). Entitled 'Methodological handbook for implementing an ex-ante assessment of agriculture financial instruments under the EAFRD', the new publication provides a planning framework for managing authorities interested in using EAFRD financial instruments. Advice in the fi-compass handbook focuses on potential investments...
June 2016
21.06.2016 Entrepreneurship for disadvantaged groups fostered by fi-compass microfinance workshop
On 31 May 2016, the European Parliament together with the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI) Technical Assistance (TA) organised the ”Microfinance for all?” workshop in Bratislava to discuss the role of microfinance, entrepreneurship education and best practice learning for Slovakian entrepreneurs. The workshop aimed at exchanging examples of good practices on how to target micro and social enterprises among different public, private and non-profit stakeholders and on...
21.06.2016 Recent developments with ESIF financial instruments
Financial instruments continue to be at the forefront of European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) policy developments. A new Communication from the European Commission on 'Taking stock of the Investment Plan for Europe and next steps' confirms a growing emphasis on using more ESIF financial instruments to deliver the EU’s Cohesion policy. Linkages between ESIF and EFSI (European Fund for Strategic Investments) are expected to strengthen in the future through more EFSI/ESIF...
14.06.2016 First ESI Fund financial instruments combined with EFSI
Previous news stories from fi-compass have highlighted the use of financial instruments from the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds) in combination with complementary instruments from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). News about the European Commission’s guidelines on combining ESIF and EFSI have also been featured for fi-compass stakeholders. A summary of these guidelines is available in 23 EU languages. They explain that EFSI can invest side-by-side with...
03.06.2016 European Microfinance Network Annual Conference: ‘Shaping European Microfinance: Who, What, and For Whom?’
The European Microfinance Network (EMN) will hold its 13th Annual Conference in Warsaw (Poland) on the 16th and 17th June 2016. It is the conference for stakeholders of the European microfinance sector and about 250 delegates are expected to attend, including EMN member organisations, experts, and representatives from other institutions active in the microfinance sector. The EMN Annual Conference presents an opportunity for Microfinance practitioners to share, exchange and challenge good...
April 2016
26.04.2016 Financial instruments' potential for promoting energy efficiency
Financial instruments using the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) can support energy efficiency projects that are economically viable and provide positive environmental impacts. Information available through the fi-compass knowledge-sharing platform includes case study examples that highlight the potential of using ESIF financial instruments to support energy-efficiency schemes. An example is the London Green Fund, which is investing in London’s transition to a low carbon...
05.04.2016 New fi-compass case study focuses on business loans in Malta
The latest case study published by fi-compass presents a First Loss Portfolio Guarantee (FLPG) fund implemented in Malta from 2011 to 2015 for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).These types of businesses play a predominant role in the Maltese economy, with SMEs accounting for 99.8% of companies and 79% of jobs in the country. Access to credit for SMEs had been difficult in the recent past.  In order to help redress these business development challenges experienced by Maltese SMEs...
March 2016
17.03.2016 Flagship fi-compass events spotlight opportunities for financial instruments in the European Social Fund
Two high level events were organised by fi-compass earlier this month to raise awareness about opportunities for financial instruments in the European Social Fund (ESF). Both events were based in Brussels with a conference on ‘Financial Instruments under the European Social Fund 2014-2020’ taking place on 2 February, which was followed the next day by the ‘Microfinance under the European Social Fund 2014-2020’ workshop. These ESF events attracted a broad range of interest from managing...
February 2016
12.02.2016 Microfinance under the European Social Fund (ESF)
Picture: Stefan De Keersmaecker, DG EMPL, European Commission On 3 February 2016, fi-compass organised a workshop on Microfinance under the European Social Fund (ESF) which took place in Brussels. This workshop was attended by more than 100 participants including policy makers, representatives from managing authorities and microfinance providers. Stefan De Keersmaecker, Deputy Head of Unit at DG EMPL, European Commission, and Per-Erik Eriksson from the European Investment Fund...
12.02.2016 New fi-compass advice on microfinance instruments
Microfinance instruments can be useful for supporting microenterprises, unemployed workers, and citizens suffering from disadvantages. By helping to improve access to more affordable finance, these instruments remain particularly useful for supporting self-employment, business start-ups, integration and employment of vulnerable groups, as well as other social policies. Such microfinance instruments can make a real difference to EU citizens by promoting financial and social inclusion. Thus in...
12.02.2016 Financial Instruments under the European Social Fund (ESF)
Picture: Andriana Sukova-Tosheva, Director, DG EMPL, European Commission On 2 February 2016, fi-compass organised a high level conference on financial instruments under the ESF. This flagship event was attended by over 180 people including policy makers, managing authorities and audit bodies, as well as delegates from the banking and consultancy sectors. Speaking at the launch of the conference, Andriana Sukova-Tosheva, Director at DG EMPL, European Commission, underlined the...
11.02.2016 New fi-compass case study: developing the social economy in Poland
fi-compass has released a new case study about a financial instrument co-financed by the European Social Fund (ESF) that provides loans and advice to socially-oriented enterprises across Poland. This is a valuable example of how a managing authority, here the Polish Ministry of Infrastructure and Development, and partners have established an instrument to promote sustainable, quality employment, supporting labour mobility and social inclusion, while also combating poverty and discrimination...
January 2016
26.01.2016 New advisory publications for the European Social Fund to be released next week
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. New advisory publications on this topic will be launched next week at our fi-...
13.01.2016 Our ESIF factsheets are now available in selected EU languages
Our factsheets introducing financial instruments for the different European Structural and Investment Funds are now available in Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovakian, Slovenian and Spanish. These selected fi-compass materials have been translated into various EU languages to help deepen people’s understanding of the opportunities that ESIF financial...
December 2015
10.12.2015 New European Commission guidance note on management costs and fees for financial instruments implemented according to Article 38(4)(b)
Financial instruments are a form of support whose success hinges on the performance of bodies implementing them. One of the decisive parameters to align the interests of the managing authorities and the bodies implementing financial instruments is the remuneration paid to the latter in the form of performance-based management costs and fees. In 2007-2013 management costs and fees paid to bodies implementing financial instruments were calculated on the basis of the amounts contributed to the...
10.12.2015 Fishery sector support through ESIF financial instruments
A new scoping study has recently been released by fi-compass which examines the potential for financial instruments under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). The study gives essential insights on: the investment needs and opportunities that financial instruments could address in the seafood sector; the potential synergies and efficiencies with other ESI Funds; considerations for the most suitable types of financial products for the sector; and how advisory support can help realise...
10.12.2015 Follow fi-compass on social media
fi-compass provides upstream advice on financial instruments through a number of channels, including our online hub and Twitter. To expand outreach and the dissemination of our tools and services that are available to managing authorities, financial intermediaries and all other interested stakeholders, fi-compass has recently launched a YouTube channel. Our YouTube channel is hosting all the video content made available by fi-compass such as: learning tools and animations about ESIF...
November 2015
13.11.2015 Supporting financial instruments through European Social Fund (ESF)
On the 4th of November 2015 financial instruments under the ESF were discussed at a seminar in Warsaw. This seminar was part of a series of ESF seminars conducted in Paris, Rome and Warsaw. Around 70 participants attended the seminar in Warsaw which shows high interest in financial instruments under the ESF. Following the opening and welcome speeches by Andrea Da Pozzo, European Commission and Ando Siitam, European Investment Bank practical experiences on the use of financial instruments...
12.11.2015 Member State events, December 2015 to February 2016, financial instruments delivering ESI Funds
Register now to attend a fi-compass seminar near you. Registrations are now open for the following seminars on financial instruments in European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF): Athens, 3 December 2015 Lisbon, 18 January 2016 Ljubljana, 21 January 2016 The Hague, 27 January 2016 Nicosia, 4 February 2016 Valletta, 11 February 2016 London, 18 February 2016 Berlin, 25 February 2016 The purpose of this seminar series is to provide stakeholders with the...
09.11.2015 Promoting financial instruments for agriculture and rural development
The fi-compass seminar in Riga focusing on the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) highlighted the benefits of financial instruments which ensure the re-use of public funds, particularly through guarantee funds in agriculture and rural development. Participants exchanged on the importance of pinpointing the exact needs of final recipients, as well as the type and size of instruments that would address them. Picture: Jānis Dūklavs, Minister for Agriculture of the...
04.11.2015 Supporting financial instruments through European Social Fund (ESF)
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...
04.11.2015 Member States seminar series: Italy
On the 22nd of October 2015 financial instruments delivering ESI Funds were discussed at a seminar in Rome. This seminar was part of a series of seminars conducted in 25 EU Member States. Picture: Salvatore Vescina, Presidency of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic Following the opening speech of Salvatore Vescina, Presidency of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic, practical experiences on the use of financial instruments were presented. This included the...
October 2015
19.10.2015 Microfinance rules, regulations and advice: Bordeaux, 28 October 2015
Microfinance matters will be the focus of a conference in France later this month. Conference sessions include a set of plenary presentations funded by the fi-compass EaSI Technical Assistance programme. This part of the conference will help participants to further their understanding of regulatory frameworks for microcredit in Europe. Case studies from the United Kingdom and Germany will highlight practical experiences from microcredit experts. Other topics to be covered include the...
16.10.2015 Member States seminar series: Romania
On the 8th of October 2015 financial instruments delivering ESI Funds were discussed at a seminar in Bucharest. This seminar was part of a series of seminars conducted in 25 EU Member States. More than 80 people took part in this well-attended seminar. Places at the event had to be extended in order to accommodate the high level of interest from public sector bodies, banking organisations and consultancy companies. Following the opening speech by Ms Toader, General Director from the...
15.10.2015 Member States seminar series: Bulgaria
On the 6th of October 2015 financial instruments delivering ESI Funds were discussed at a seminar in Sofia. This event was part of a series of seminars conducted in 25 EU Member States. Around 120 participants attended the seminar in Sofia. This shows a high interest in financial instruments. Following the opening speech by Ms Kordova, Director of the Monitoring of EU Funds Directorate in Bulgaria, practical experience on the use of financial instruments was presented. This included...
14.10.2015 Case study
The Campania region launched the Microcredit Fund at the end of 2011, with € 100 million of resources committed from the European Social Fund. Read more on how it improves access to finance for young people, the unemployed, women, migrants. Other case studies on the use of ESIF financial instruments in practice can be found here
14.10.2015 Latest Regulatory Guidance
Guidance note: European Structural and Investment Funds Guidance for Member States and Programme Authorities CPR_37_7_8_9 Combination of support from a financial instrument with other forms of support. Available here
08.10.2015 Financial Instruments delivering ESI Funds
Bratislava was the stage for the first national fi-compass event, where participants from Slovakia and a few neighbouring countries explored the potential of using financial instruments to deliver 2014-2020 ESIF objectives in the local and regional context. Similar seminars will be held in most other Member States during the next five months. The seminar provided the participants with practical information, including case studies and regulatory clarifications, on how financial instruments...
06.10.2015 Promoting financial instruments for agriculture and rural development
The importance of knowledge about using ex-ante assessments properly was one of the main conclusions from the recent fi-compass event focused on the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). Knowhow about this and other systematic approaches involved in setting up an EAFRD financial instrument where noted as being extremely useful for EAFRD managing authorities. Other key topics discussed by the seminar speakers and delegates included the benefits of financial instruments...
01.10.2015 Seven steps to effective ex-ante assessments for ESIF financial instruments
An ex-ante assessment is a crucial, and therefore mandatory, step in the overall lifecycle of ESIF financial instruments. Ex-ante assessments help everyone involved to understand the investment needs in a specific area. Results from the ex-ante work will also confirm the role that financial instruments can play in achieving policy objectives for ESIF programmes. A new video summarising seven essential stages of an ex-ante assessment for ESIF financial instruments has just been published...
September 2015
25.09.2015 Supporting financial instruments through European Social Fund (ESF)
Financial instruments and the ESF were under the spotlight in Paris this week at a regional seminar organised by fi-compass. Participants from around Europe attended the event which highlighted useful experiences from existing loan funds supporting the types of activities that are relevant for ESF purposes. Advice and experiences were also exchanged by the Paris participants about the range of fi-compass advisory material that is available to help ESF stakeholders. A special session for...
25.09.2015 Rural Development Programme financial instruments
A new article about financial instruments for Rural Development Programmes has been produced by the European Network for Rural Development (ENRD) in their EU Rural Review magazine. Advisory services provided by fi-compass for the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development are spotlighted in the article, which also includes a range of other useful information for people interested in financial instruments for the Rural Development Programmes. See the article on our EAFRD page at the...
23.09.2015 Guide to financial instrument products
A new short reference guide about different financial instrument products is now available from fi-compass. The guide illustrates the key features and differences between products such as loans, guarantees, equity and quasi‑equity. It has been produced as a useful information source for managing authorities, financial intermediaries, final recipients of ESIF assistance and others with an interest in ESIF financial instruments. Find out more: Financial instrument products
April 2015
21.04.2015 The new advisory hub online
The new fi-compass webportal is NOW LIVE! The platform is offering a wide range of resources for Member States, managing authorities, financial institutions, project leaders and all stakeholders. There is a wealth of useful tools accessible on the website, including a short illustrative video on the benefits of financial instruments and an explanatory factsheet on how they work. If you are looking for information on financial instruments under the different ESI funds please have a look at...