on financial instruments under the European
fi-compass is a platform for advisory services
Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI).
Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) and
microfinance under the Programme for
be an important tool for boosting EU agriculture.
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
investment projects

A Practical Approach to the Market Analysis Part of SME-Related Ex-Ante Assessments


For the support of financial instruments in the 2014-2020 programming period ex-ante assessments have effectively become a mandatory prerequisite, and the main elements required are given by the Common Provisions Regulation (CPR). Guidance to managing authorities (MAs) is available through the ex-ante assessment methodology published by the European Commission. Since 2013, the European Investment Fund (EIF) has performed small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) related ex-ante assessments and we have published, for the market analysis part, “Guidelines for SME Access to Finance Market Assessments (GAFMA)”. Both guidance documents provide a toolbox of good practices to managing authorities. In this article, we summarise the framework for ex-ante assessments and present the experiences that EIF has made so far in conducting ex-ante assessments, which can also be taken as helpful practical recommendations: It is useful to follow a standardised approach that is in line with good practice and has taken into consideration relevant legal requirements. If surveys are performed, the number of questions should be limited to those that are essential to obtain the information needed for the analysis. Whenever a financing gap is quantified, the assumptions, on which the estimations are based, should be made transparent and the results should be interpreted with the necessary care. In addition, different tools should be applied in parallel when performing a market assessment.

Dr. Helmut Kraemer-Eis, Head of Research & Market Analysis, European Investment Fund (EIF). Dr. Frank Lang, Senior Manager, Research & Market Analysis, EIF
Available Languages: 
1 Methodological advice
FI phase: 
Advice on FI products
Ex-ante assessment