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    Small businesses and mid-caps are a key part of the global economy. They create jobs and drive economic development and innovation. Europe's 23 million smaller businesses represent 99% of all businesses and provide around three-quarters of all jobs.

    There are many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with fresh ideas, compelling new products or services and high-growth potential. However, they often have difficulty finding financing. The European Union fosters entrepreneurship, encourages the creation of new companies and helps small businesses grow, and it is particularly committed to making it easier for Europe's innovative firms to get access to finance.

    In 2023, the EIB Group provided around €20 billion for SMEs. To support small businesses, the EIB Group partners with a wide network of commercial banks, National Promotional Banks and Institutions, leasing companies, venture capital and private equity funds, angel investors and other providers. We especially target regions where access to finance is an obstacle to economic growth.

    The EIB Group supports companies at all stages of development. The EIB Group provides direct financing to mid-caps. We also offer venture debt financing.

    Download the EIB SME Overview 2022  

    Learn how to be more sustainable!

    Being resilient requires becoming more sustainable. Our training series provides all the essential skills and tools to make your company more sustainable and boost your business.

    Support for SMEs is an EIB Group priority

    In 2023, the EIB Group provided around €20 billion for SMEs. Through 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


    Discover some SMEs recently supported by the EIB

    The EIB Group supports business innovation, especially in digitalisation, energy efficiency and climate action

    Saving energy and saving our environment

    Energy efficiency loans jointly provided by the EIB and the European Commission help a big laundry company and other firms in the Czech Republic to modernise and reduce energy consumption.

    ©Busà Photography/Getty Images

    Economic growth and job creation in Skopje

    Loans funded by the EIB helped a family-owned bakery and a juice company to advance their production and expand their market, becoming top national brands.

    When women flourish, the whole economy benefits

    The EIB supports projects in the EU's Southern Neighbourhood in which women and girls benefit equally and equitably. Meet female entrepreneurs who have designed online platforms, founded a factory producing natural oil and plant-based products, expanded a dressmaking business and more.

    ©EIB/To be defined

    Climate and SMEs

    The EIB is one of the largest multilateral providers of climate finance worldwide. In order to reduce the consequences of the climate crisis for us and generations to come, nearly all greenhouse gas emissions must be eliminated by the middle of this century.

    Do you think climate change is too big of a problem for SMEs to address? Financing climate action and SMEs are both priorities for the EIB Group, and sometimes the two come together. Find out how an EIF-supported start-up in the Netherlands uses sustainable, natural materials to build everything from a farm to a dental care office.

    Tailored support for your project

    Looking for an SME loan?
    Explore our financial intermediaries in your country or region
    Advisory Hub
    The EIB Group’s financing for SMEs is also supported by advisory and TA

    For SMEs and mid-caps looking for finance

    For financial institutions 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