Changing perceptions

Our work towards constantly improving access to finance does much more than opening doors to new funding for eager entrepreneurs.

We are also committed to supporting the EU missions of promoting solidarity, well-being of its citizens and protecting freedoms; whilst all the while pushing for new and ever-more efficient ways to make sure public funding works harder to bring benefits to the market and create much needed jobs.

In the wake of the migrant crisis which swept the continent in 2015, it became clear that Europe needed to find efficient ways of creating programmes to help absorb and integrate these people who were forced from their own homes. Yet these creative programmes needed to be deployed using existing budgets; our mantra of ‘doing more with less’ became all the more relevant.

Watch the video below to find out more about our first social impact bond scheme in Europe, in partnership with the Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, and those refugees whose lives it has touched.

This programme enables us to bear some of the risk on behalf of the local government, meaning that they only need to spend their public funding when a social integration programme produces tangible results – meaning provision of training and job-matching assistance.

A EUR 10m investment by the EIF into this social impact bond scheme means that we will be able to support the integration of over 3,000 migrants and refugees into the Finnish labour market.

Over the past two decades, the number of jobs created by small companies in Finland has been steadily growing, in contrast to a decrease of those created by large companies.

Perhaps surprisingly however, Finland actually has fewer people who follow the path of entrepreneurship when compared to the EU average, with just over 35 thousand enterprise openings in 2018.

This is why it is crucial to support new ideas, to support start-ups, to support risk-taking.

Entrepreneurship is, by nature, an uphill struggle, one which requires immense dedication and perseverance – often in the face of hardship and uncertainty. We want to make sure that access to finance is not one of these barriers.

Watch Petteri’s story below; a former professional footballer turned co-founder and CEO of a big data company in the healthcare sector, Petteri Viljanen explains his journey of becoming an entrepreneur. He speaks about motivation, teamwork, persistence and how sport prepared him for running a business.

Petteri and his company BCB Medical received an important investment in 2017 from Standout Capital, an EIF-backed private equity firm specialised in the growth phase of technological companies.


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