on financial instruments under the European
fi-compass is a platform for advisory services
Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF)
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


Raising awareness about Europe's venture capital landscape

Venture capital can be defined as a subset of private equity that is co‑invested with an entrepreneur to fund a business venture, normally during its early‑stage (seed or start‑up) and expansion phases. Higher‑than‑average returns on such investments tend to be expected by venture capitalists and investors in order to offset higher risk in these investments.

Investing in low carbon economies: Lessons from the London Green Fund

Our fi‑compass publications library includes a case study from the London Green Fund (LGF). It explains how this financial instrument used the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to successfully support much‑needed investments in environmental infrastructure.

This ERDF financial instrument contributes directly to reducing carbon emissions and it received international recognition earlier this year when its urban development achievements were discussed at the C40 Financing Sustainable Cities Forum. The story behind this success was told by the LGF fund managers and the Greater London Authority (GLA), the ERDF Intermediate Body.

Simon White from the GLA explained how the financial instrument was primarily driven by targets for minimising carbon emissions and waste within the city's urban regeneration plan, saying: "There were lots of projects that needed to be delivered, and there were lots of finance that needed to be secured to enable those to happen."

A solution to this challenge involved a shift in approach to develop a fund that used the ERDF as investment finance to support infrastructure projects.

Personal loans and social entrepreneurship: new language versions of fi-compass factsheets

French, German, Italian, and Spanish language versions are now available of our fi-compass factsheets about 'Financial instruments working with personal loans' and 'Financial instruments working with social entrepreneurship'. Download and share these new publications from the fi-compass website library at:

State aid guidance for financial instruments is now available from the European Commission

When Member States give aid through financial instruments (co-)financed by the European Structural and Investment Funds, compliance with State aid rules is necessary in order to encourage economic efficiency and prevent that public support unduly distorts competition.

Second Call for EaSI Technical Assistance to the European microcredit sector

The EaSI Technical Assistance (EaSI TA) is launching a second Call for Expression of Interest with the goal of identifying and selecting up to 34 European microcredit providers that will benefit from EaSI Technical Assistance services. 

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.

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.

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 Hauts-de-France region, has now started supporting investment that contributes to Thematic Objective 4 of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) and the low carbon economy.

New advisory services for European Social Fund financial instruments

The fi-compass European Social Fund (ESF) work stream has recently published new language versions of the handbook on using ESF financial instruments for promoting inclusion, sustainable jobs and better education. French, German, Italian and Spanish language versions (in addition to the original English version) of this handbook are now available for downloading and sharing through the fi-compass website’s Resource Library.

European Social Fund provides mezzanine capital for Germany

A German case study from fi-compass shows how the European Social Fund (ESF) can be used to co-finance quasi equity, or mezzanine capital, investments for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This financial instrument (titled: Mikromezzaninfonds and translated to: micro-mezzanine funds) was set-up under the 2007-2013 national level ESF Operational Programme (OP). It is being continued during the current 2014-2020 period and promotes social inclusion by financing entrepreneurship among ESF priority groups.