Are you a social service provider? Do you have Investment Plans? Are you looking for possible new ways to finance your social infrastructure plans and other projects? Then the EU Investment Plan can be a new option for you.
The EU Investment Plan is an important initiative developed by the European Union and the European Investment Bank (EIB) to help access to finance (loans) for enterprises, including social service providers. To achieve this, the EU Investment Plan works on three main areas:
- European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI): unlocking investment of over €300 billion over three years into European SMEs and infrastructure projects
- Advice and support: providing support to stakeholders through the European Investment Advisory Hub (EIAH) and the EU Investment Project Portal (EIPP)
- Facilitating Legal Frameworks: supporting investment in the real economy
More information can be found here.
EFSI facilitates access to better loans by using EU money as a guarantee for private investors. To date EFSI has helped 100,000s of SMEs and Infrastructure projects get access to decent loans; at a better rate than without any intervention by EFSI.
Through a €21 billion budget, coming from the EU and the EIB, EFSI aims at unlocking €330 billion worth of additional investment into the real economy. The objective is to address a funding gap that is hampering the ability of enterprises to expand and innovate to their full potential due to limited access to private funding for certain high-risk projects.
Additional information on EFSI can be found here.
A key component of EFSI is that it is demand-driven, meaning that project developers have to apply before receiving EFSI support. Another key ingredient is that accessing EFSI depends on the size of your project and financing needs.
EFSI is delivered through two main windows:
- Infrastructure & Innovation Window
- supports projects requiring over €25 million of investment
- provides direct loans through the European Investment Bank
- can help to attract other important investors to finance your project
- Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) Window
- supports projects under €25 million
- is implemented through financial intermediaries (selected banks and other private investors) to provide loans to Enterprises, including social service providers, as well as to local, regional and national authorities
- is implemented through a variety of different programmes (COSME, InnovFin, EaSI)
There are no specific limits to the type of social projects which can receive loans through EFSI or the EIB group, as long as it remains under national and European legislation.
Although this is a non-exhaustive list, possible projects could be for:
- Training and re-training of staff
- Innovative practices in service provision
- Social Housing
- Sheltered housing and independent & assisted living facilities
- Respite or day care centres
- Temporary care centres
- Digital care & support technologies;
- Inclusive education adaptations
- Inclusive employment adaptations
- Transport (vehicles, etc)
In most cases, a EFSI intervention would provide a better loan deal for your needs than many other options. This is a result of the fact that EFSI reduces the risk for Financial Intermediaries and the EIB to invest in your project by providing guarantees against a part of the possible losses.
It is however difficult to state with precision the advantages EFSI and other EIB programmes may bring for your specific project given that your project would need to be analysed first. Such criteria would include matters such as income/revenue structures, sustainable business plans, good governance, et cetera.
The Success Stories demonstrate however the benefits EFSI could provide for your project plan.