Loans for Regeneration, Businesses and Jobs

18 March 2016

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European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) has an EU-wide budget of €315 billion and will fund strategic national level projects.

The EFSI is one pillar of the EU Commission Investment Plan for Europe, and aims to unlock €315 billion to kick start investment, jobs and growth into Europe’s economy.   The UK Chancellor announced on 15th July 2015, that alongside the EIB the UK government will make £6 billion of UK guarantees available to co-finance EFSI infrastructure projects in the UK; and that the UK has stepped up its bilateral engagement with EIB, and will shortly sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the EIB to ensure that we are well placed to maximize the benefits of the EFSI and wider EIB financing opportunities for the UK.

ESFI will provide loans or loan guarantees (not grants) for projects in areas such as: infrastructure, education, research, innovation, renewable energy and energy efficiency. It will also focus on SMEs (<250 employees) and mid-cap companies (250–3,000 employees). The EFSI will fund projects that promote job-creation, long-term growth and competitiveness.  The fund also sets up a European Investment Advisory Hub (EIAH) and regional and national investment platforms to provide advisory support to projects and act as a match-making service between the public sector and private investors, irrespective of whether or not they benefit from actual EFSI support.

The bulk (75%) of EFSI financing is likely to focus on large-scale (>€50 million) national projects, which will nevertheless have local authority relevance. The remaining 25% of the fund will be used to provide smaller loans (venture capital) and guarantees to SMEs and other companies. Such loans will be processed and delivered via banks in each Member State.  The Government has submitted to the EC a list of UK strategic investment projects as an indication of the type of large-scale projects that could benefit from the fund. These include major energy, broadband, and environmental projects. Other projects not on the national list can also apply, such as those for new school buildings, regional transport projects etc.

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Employment and Social Innovation Programme (EaSI) has an EU-wide budget of €920 million.

The EaSI programme aims to promote a high level of quality and sustainable employment, guaranteeing adequate and decent social protection, combating social exclusion and poverty and improving working conditions.

EaSI is an umbrella programme which replaces the former PROGRESS, EURES and Progress Microfinance programme. EaSI financing can be combined with support from ESF.

EaSI provides loans/guarantees to support:

access to micro-finance and social entrepreneurship
the modernisation of employment and social policies (PROGRESS) with a focus on fighting youth unemployment, social protection and inclusion and the reduction and prevention of poverty and working conditions
job mobility (EURES)

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