We support small businesses for growth, innovation and jobs

We support small businesses for growth, innovation and jobs

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We support small businesses for growth, innovation and jobs

SMEs and mid-caps

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are important drivers of growth, innovation and employment in Europe. SMEs represent 99% of businesses in the EU and employ two thirds of the active working population. Supporting access to finance for SMEs and mid-caps is a top priority for the EIB Group.

Our impact in 2016

In 2016 alone, the EIB Group (the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund) financed SMEs and mid-caps across the globe to the tune of a record EUR 33.7 billion. Our investments (from micro-finance to larger loans) helped around 300 000 smaller firms get their projects off the ground. Together, all companies we supported in 2016 provide jobs to around 4.4 million people worldwide.

credit lines



billion invested

Smaller companies


smaller companies supported...

4.4 million people



million people

The EIB cooperates with a wide range of financial intermediaries that offer financial products targeting small and medium-sized companies (also including micro-enterprises). We benefit from our partners’ expertise, local knowledge and proximity to the businesses themselves.

Can we help you?

Through our intermediaries, the EIB provides financing to:

  • micro-enterprises (0-9 employees)
  • small enterprises (10-49 employees)
  • medium-sized enterprises (50-249 employees*)
  • mid-caps (250-3 000 employees*)

*EU recommendation 2003/361/EC

Are you an SME or mid-cap looking for finance?

Are you a financial institution willing to partner with the EIB Group?

Please visit our dedicated pages for the main product categories:

  • Lending/funding products: EIB
  • Guarantees/risk sharing: EIB  - EIF 
  • Equity: EIB - EIF

EIB’s activity towards SMEs and mid-caps is typically more focused on delivering financial support (mainly funded) to established enterprises, mostly in the growth or maturity stages.

The EIF typically concentrates on supporting enterprises in earlier stages of growth and the provision of guarantee schemes.

In the spotlight

Looking for an SME loan?

Looking for an SME loan?

Explore the network of local partners supported by the EIB in your country or region – our financial intermediaries.

EU Finance for Innovators

EU Finance for Innovators

Are you an innovative European business looking for finance? Do you intend to invest in research and innovation (R&I)? Discover how InnovFin can help you.

 2016 SME Report

2016 SME Report

In 2016, the EIB Group again delivered record levels of finance for SMEs and mid-caps with EUR 33.7bn of new operations signed.

Our stories

A construction SME born in the midst of the crisis

A construction SME born in the midst of the crisis

Patrick Schreven, founder of ORGA bouw in the Netherlands, is specialised in bio-based construction. He gets his inspiration from nature to build houses, farms and offices integrated in its natural environment. A micro-loan from Qredits, an EIF partner bank enabled Patrick to start his construction company in the midst of the economic crisis.

Making finance available for Spanish SMEs

Making finance available for Spanish SMEs

In Bilbao, Spain, budding interior designer Elisabete Azkoaga has been able to turn her dream of opening up her ideas to a wider public thanks to the help of a EUR 15 000 loan from EIB partner bank, Microbank. A friend helped her take the right decision.

Our approach

The EIB Group continuously works to strengthen its support for SMEs and mid-caps. We work together with EU Member States and public promotional institutions to develop innovative products and partnerships that facilitate access to finance for SMEs and mid-caps at all stages of their development

Together, the EIB and EIF mobilise financial and technical expertise to act as a catalyst for investment in this essential economic sector to achieve smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

For additional sources of EU finance for SMEs and midcaps please visit the Your Europe portal