A record number of deals shows that the European Investment Bank is supporting the smaller companies and start-ups that will boost growth and jobs for decades, in addition to its traditional business with large entities, according to the EU bank’s Activity Report 2017, released today.

The EIB approved a record 901 deals in 2017. That represents a shift in focus under the Investment Plan for Europe. Under its new approach, the Bank aims to boost financing for companies that previously would have been too small or whose future would have been too uncertain for an EIB investment.

Details of the impact of this strategy for Europe’s economic future are laid out in the Bank’s Activity Report, “Impact into the Future”, released in electronic format today. The Activity Report  also includes case studies from each area of the Bank’s activity, including its support for:

  • Innovation: an Estonian supercapacitor start-up
  • SMEs: a Portuguese manufacturer of science toys
  • Infrastructure: finance for small Italian water companies to save waste
  • Environment: a French company with a clever new way to recycle valuable titanium
  • Global development: a transformative mobile banking company in Ethiopia

In his Foreword to the report, EIB President Werner Hoyer writes of the importance of financing innovative, new companies—many of which face difficulties obtaining investment. “This report demonstrates how, in key strategic sectors, the EIB aims to keep Europe strong by reinforcing its position on the frontier of global innovation,” writes Hoyer.