We support small businesses for growth, innovation and jobs

We support small businesses for growth, innovation and jobs

Our priority
Climate and environment
Climate action
Environmental protection
Innovation and skills
SMEs and mid-caps
European Union
Enlargement countries
European Free Trade Association
EIB in the Mediterranean partner countries*
Maximizing synergies
Financing & advisory services
Private equity
Advisory services
FEMIP Support Package
How to apply
Trust fund
Technical advisory
Risk capital operations
CAMENA climate action envelope
Organisation and staff
EU Eastern neighbours
Cooperation with other institutions and organisations
Financing facilities
DCFTA Initiative
Trust fund
Examples of EPTATF Operations
Institutional framework
Central Asia
Institutional framework
Cooperation with other institutions and organisations
Financing facilities
Technical assistance and grants
The EU bank in ACP
Our focus in the ACP region
Looking for a loan?
Investment Facility
Boost Africa
Our partners
Asia and Latin America
Agriculture, food and rural development
Digital economy
Education and training
Health and life science
Regional development
Trans-European Networks
The EIB and Urban Development
Global Climate City Challenge
Water and wastewater management
Our initiatives
Economic Resilience Initiative
Gender equality
Circular economy
Sustainable oceans and blue economy
Projects to be financed
Recently approved projects
Projects to be financed - Breakdown by region
Projects to be financed - Breakdown by sector
Explanatory notes
Financed projects
Projects to be financed - Breakdown by sector
Financed projects - Breakdown by region
EFSI project list
Project cycle
Applying for a loan
Operations evaluation
Operations Evaluation – Process and methodology

We support small businesses for growth, innovation and jobs

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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 2018

In 2018 alone, the EIB Group financed SMEs and mid-caps across the globe to the tune of EUR 23.3 billion (EIB Group). We supported 374 000 smaller companies, which employ 5 million people.

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.

There is nothing funny about banks!

Or at least there wasn’t, until now. The EIB commissioned Madis Ots, a one-man SME from Estonia, to illustrate some of the challenges that SME’s, particularly start-up companies, face when trying to access finance. The result: Welcome to...

The Brood and the European Investment Bank

A hedgehog, a rabbit and a wolf are trying every week to get the bear to finance them (plus assorted antics). Enjoy it until it runs out of financing!

Our stories

Small businesses: the backbone of the EU economy

Small businesses are the engine of the EU economy, employing 2 out of 3 Europeans. What challenges do small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) face, and how can the EIB Group help address them? This video will include interviews of experts and entrepreneurs.

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.