Information about Member States' plans for ESIF financial instruments is included in the EU Communication titled 'Investing in jobs and growth - maximising the contribution of European Structural and Investment Funds'.
Sharing knowledge and experience about financial instruments in action is a central part of the fi-compass remit. Such networking happens through information events and written case studies. One example of this peer exchange refers to lessons learned from using microcredit in Italy’s Marche region. Here, a microfinance instrument has been successfully promoting social inclusion using microcredit and a guarantee fund that can also be combined with grants and business mentoring advice. This approaches uses co-finance from both the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF).
Financial instruments for agriculture and rural development will be the focus of two new macro-regional fi-compass seminars that are being organised in Spain and Italy. The first of these events will take place in Madrid on May 31st and Rome will host the second seminar on June 13th.
Member States can use the European Social Fund (ESF) to support financial instruments such as loans, guarantees or equity products. These opportunities can help to improve access to finance for organisations, enterprises or individuals in ways that create both financial and social benefits and contribute to the ESF thematic objectives and Europe 2020 targets. Measuring social as well as financial returns is a key element of Social Impact Investment (SII).
Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) are among the most common group of final recipients for financial instruments using the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). Awareness-raising about opportunities for SMEs from ESIF financial instruments happens at different levels and locally-based advice is beneficial.
New summary (in 23 languages) of guidelines on combining European Structural and Investment Funds with the European Fund for Strategic Investments
The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) – the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe - and European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds) both play a crucial role in creating jobs and growth.
The latest case study published by fi-compass presents a First Loss Portfolio Guarantee (FLPG) instrument 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.
Fi-compass provides advisory services on financial instruments funded by European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). A key target group for many ESIF financial instruments is small and medium size enterprises (SMEs). These comprise a diverse range of businesses with differing financing profiles and they include enterprises that are eligible for support from each of the ESI Funds.
Microfinance and the social economy were discussed at a fi-compass EaSI TA workshop on 2 March in Athens. The workshop built on existing Greek interests with microfinance and included a focus on the regulatory framework.
Europe's first EAFRD financial instrument in 2014-2020 has now been launched by Estonia's Ministry of Rural Affairs. Estonia, after completing the legally required ex-ante assessment, has given a green light for two Loan products of total volume of EUR 30.1 million under its Rural Development Programme for 2014-2020.