Implementing financial instruments in the European Structural and Investment Funds

Sarah has just finished her PhD and has a great idea for an innovative app to take funny pictures. However, neither the bank nor private investors are willing to lend her startup any money to develop the tools. Her friend Tom is a farmer; he needs to diversify to increase his income. He’d like to convert the old barn into a bed-and-breakfast, but where is he going to find the money? Tom’s Aunt Mary recently lost her job as a teacher and she doesn’t have the skills required to switch to another profession, while Mary’s neighbour Peter is desperately short of money because of the high bills for cooling and heating his house; and all four of them are unhappy because their neighbourhood is more rundown year after year, but help is on its way. Individuals, companies and other stakeholders can make new investments thanks to financial instruments. Across Europe, managing authorities in Member States and regions co-finance and allocate European structural and investment funds through financial intermediaries. This financial support is then channeled directly to smart, sustainable and inclusive projects. So, Sarah can press ahead with her app, thanks to support for her start-up from the fund and other investors. Tom’s dream will become a reality with a fund providing a guarantee to the bank to lend him the money for his new business. His Aunt Mary will receive a micro loan to pay for a training course for a new career, while Peter will get financial support to renovate the house and make it more energy-efficient. Also, a 1 million euro loan will be made available to the mayor of the city, enabling him to invest in a greener neighbourhood and generate further funds in the form of private investments. This is how the EU invest in projects which grow and repay the funds so they can be invested again and even more projects that benefit people and companies. Would you like to find out more about the opportunities that financial instruments offer? Then visit the new fi-compass platform at

Paul Whisler

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