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The annual EIB Group Survey on Investment and Investment Finance (EIBIS) is an EU-wide survey that gathers qualitative and quantitative information on investment activities by both small businesses (with between 5 and 250 employees) and larger corporates (with more than 250 employees), their financing requirements and the difficulties they face.

The survey involves interviews with some 12 500 businesses in total. Using a stratified sampling methodology, it is designed to be representative at the EU level; country level; and, for most countries, the sector group level (manufacturing, services, construction and infrastructure) as well as firm sizes class level (micro, small, medium and large). All survey respondents are sampled from the Bureau van Dijk ORBIS database; survey answers can be matched to reported firm balance sheet and profit and loss data.

EIBIS is carried out annually, with the first wave of interviews having taken place in 2016. It is designed to build a panel of enterprise data. To this end, all firms that participated in the first wave of the survey are re-interviewed in the following survey waves. To compensate for panel attrition and to ensure cross-sectional representativeness, panel firms are complemented in each wave with a re-fresher sample of new survey firms.

The survey collects data on firm characteristics and firm performance, past investment activities and future plans, sources of finance, financing issues and other challenges that businesses face. Most questions refer to the “last financial year” and therefore the reference year for each round of the survey is the one before the survey was carried out (e.g. “2015” for the round carried out in 2016). To ensure robust year-to-year comparisons, the questionnaire changes only marginally over time. The EIBIS questionnaire (2016) can be found here. For a detailed description of how the survey is carried out, please consult the methodology report.

The EIB has commissioned Ipsos-MORI to implement the survey by means of telephone interviews. Interviews are carried out every year between April and late August. To see further information for interviewees, please refer to the dedicated Ipsos-MORI webpage. All interviews are conducted within the ESOMAR (The World Association of Research Professionals) Market Research Code of Conduct. This means that responses remain completely confidential and anonymous.

Conducting research using the EIBIS microdata

The full, firm-level data are available on a confidential basis to researchers for collaborative research projects with EIB staff, which should aim to result in a research publication. Researchers at universities and other research and policy institutions are invited to submit a research proposal to The proposal should include:

  • a short description of the research project, including a statement of the objectives and main hypotheses, and a prospective description of the variables and methodology to be employed;
  • The CV of the researcher(s).

On the basis of the information provided, each proposal is assessed by the Director of the Economics Department in terms of its potential to advance our understanding of the needs; opportunities and constraints that business faces when it comes to investment and investment finance decisions; the project’s feasibility as well as availability of EIB staff to collaborate on the project. Approved proposals are eligible for limited financial support to cover costs incurred by the researcher during the realisation of the project.

Proposals can be submitted at any time.