SMEs and Mid-caps

Support for SMEs is a public policy goal of the EIB Group. In order to finance micro, small and medium-sized companies, the EIB and the EIF typically use an intermediated business model. Financial contracts are signed between the EIB and/or the EIF and their intermediaries, who commit to finance underlying SMEs. The numbers of SMEs and jobs supported are provided by the intermediaries as per contractual obligation at the time of the intermediaries’ support, with the exception of EIF securitisation activity. For this specific activity, the numbers of SMEs and jobs are estimated based on portfolio information provided by the intermediaries. Any overlapping activities between the EIB and EIF, due to joint engagements, are adjusted in the global figures.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are a vital element of the European economy, contributing significantly to employment and innovation. Irrespective of whether they are privately owned or publicly listed with a small or medium market capitalisation (‘Mid-caps’) or how many people they employ, 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 priority of the EIB Group.


In 2017 alone, the EIB Group provided financing for SMEs and Mid-caps with total investment amounting to EUR 29.6 billion – in excess of one third of our total activity. We supported 287,000 companies, which employ 3.9 million people. ☑︎


We design and develop innovative products and partnerships to support SMEs, micro-enterprises and Mid-caps at all stages of their development. The EIB and EIF work together to mobilise financial and technical expertise and act as a catalyst for investment to achieve smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

The EIB Group employs a wide range of predominantly intermediated debt-financing, risk-sharing products and private equity instruments enabling highly diversified access to finance. We work in close cooperation with multiple financial intermediaries such as banks and leasing companies, guarantee and microfinance institutions, private equity fund managers, and increasingly, national promotional institutions (NPIs).

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