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European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI)

What Is It?
The European Commission and the European Investment Bank proposed the Investment Plan for Europe in November 2014, as an initiative to fight economic weakness lingering from the 2008 financial crisis. The aim was to relaunch investment and restore EU competitiveness, thus increasing growth and creating jobs.

One major pillar of the Plan is the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), is a €16 billion guarantee fund from the EU budget, complemented by a €5 billion allocation from the European Investment Bank’s (EIB) own capital. EFSI has been integrated into the EIB, therefore projects supported by EFSI are managed like other EIB projects.

With EFSI support, additional funding is being provided for economically viable projects, including higher risk projects. The fund focuses on the following sectors of key importance:
• Strategic infrastructure including digital, transport and energy
• Education, research, development and innovation
• Expansion of renewable energy and resource efficiency
• Support for smaller businesses and midcap companies

Where did it come from?
The Investment Plan focuses on removing obstacles to investment and making smarter use of new and existing financial resources. To achieve these goals, the plan is active in three areas:
• Mobilising investments of at least €315 billion in three years through the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI)
• Supporting investment in the real economy
• Creating an investment friendly environment

Who Can apply for EFSI funding?
Entities of all sizes, including utilities, special purpose vehicles or project companies, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (with up to 250 employees) and midcaps (with up to 3,000 employees); Public sector entities and financial services.

The Fund provides support for projects everywhere in the European Single Market, including cross-border projects. There are no geographic or sector quotas.

How do we access it?
• For infrastructure projects above €25 million, you can apply directly to the European Investment Bank.
• For SMEs looking for finance (debt or equity products), you can contact European Investment Fund Intermediaries in the UK, who are as follows:

• Santander UK
• Barclays
• British Business Bank

• So far, the UK has been the second largest country of operation for EFSI backed financing.

Click here for more information
or contact the Enterprise European Network at enquiries@rtcnorth.co.uk

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