Interreg Europe helps regional and local governments across Europe to develop and deliver better policy.

CIRCLES aims to unlock potential for innovation, internationalisation and sustainable growth of Scale-ups & SMEs in Europe by improving the ease of use of EFSI Financial Instruments at all levels.
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- EFSI will provide financing for projects that are deemed high-risk, which is often missing in the current economic environment. This could be of benefit to SMEs, which investors tend to see as presenting higher risk than larger companies. , Innovative enterprises that prove high potential for growth, like startups and scale-ups, provide unique answers to today's challenging technological problems and have a great potential to create jobs and foster economic growth in regions. But these young enterprises are often not capable to provide sufficient collateral for raising capital or obtaining loans from commercial banks in order to invest in innovation & internationalisation. The launch of co-investment (EFSI) with business angels & Investment Funds has proven to be an efficient way to attract "new money" as well as expertise from the market, helping to fund thousands of innovative companies. Business angels bring capital, knowledge, experience and a network to start-ups and help them to scale-up. Co-investment schemes with business angels represent an added value for public authorities in comparison to grants because their leverage effect is higher. Co_investment schemes also represent an added value for angels, because they lower the risk and allow more investments to be made. They therefore represent a win-win situation for business angels, managing public authorities and the companies benefiting from these investments. and ..., For full project information visit INTERREG EUROPE website CIRCLES PROJECT INTERREG EUROPE WEBSITE...Click on the link

European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI)

Investment Plan for EU - View from Comitee of the Regions

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Main policy instruments addressed in "CIRCLES"

Using standards to unlock the use of EFSI Financial Instruments at all levels to support growth, competitiveness and innovation of SMEs

Reinforce use of European Funds for Strategic Investments for SME & entrepreneurship policy

Supporting the internationalisation of SMEs by attracting new investors and increasing capacity of investments for a sustainable growth of SMEs

Public procurement as a driver of innovation in SMEs and public services, it is important the way in which public money is spent. Public procurement of innovation can create huge opportunities.

Fostering business angel providing risk capital for SME is increasingly important and contributes to economic growth and technological advance.



An ex-ante assessment is a crucial, and therefore mandatory, step in the overall lifecycle of ESIF financial instruments.

Ex-ante assessments help everyone involved to understand the investment needs in a specific area. Results from the ex-ante work will also confirm the role that financial instruments can play in achieving policy objectives for ESIF programmes.

Financial instruments such as loans, bank guarantees, equity investments and venture capital can be co-funded by the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF).

ESIF financial instruments are an efficient way to invest in the growth and development of people and businesses across the EU.


InnovFin - EU Finance for Innovators - is a joint initiative launched by the European Investment Bank and the European Commission under Horizon 2020.

InnovFin ( makes a difference by offering financing tools and advisory services, covering the entire value chain of research and innovation in order to support investments from the smallest to the largest enterprise.