Financing Small and Medium Sized companies (SMEs) is an essential role of International financial Institutions and one of the EIB’s four strategic priorities. But what is the impact for these firms?

It is positive, according to the results of a STAREBEI research grant carried out by the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management in 2018 and just published in the EIB Working Papers.

The research assesses the impact of funding by the EIB on the performance of more than 5,000 SMEs in eight countries in Central and Eastern Europe between 2008-2014. Using propensity score matching and difference-in-difference estimation exercises, it indicates that EIB lending has had a positive effect on employment, revenues, profits and profitability. This positive effect holds irrespective of the economy entering a prolonged crisis or seeing a recovery in the years following EIB funding. The results, based on dataset involving a substantially larger group of treated and non-treated firms and a longer observation period than used in other studies, reinforce the results of previous studies on the impact of IFI support in a period of financial crisis.

The STAREBEI (STAges de REcherche BEI-EIB research internships) programme provides grants to universities in order to finance junior researchers carrying out research projects proposed by the EIB Group (EIB and EIF) under the joint supervision of a university tutor and an EIB co-tutor. To date, 48 young researchers from 35 universities in 12 European countries have benefited from the STAREBEI programme.