Ideas that change the world

The EIB Institute is committed to reducing inequalities and promoting diversity and social cohesion across Europe. The Institute supports social innovation and entrepreneurs who aim to generate a societal impact (targeting social, ethical or environmental goals) or seek to create and sustain social value, typically related to unemployment, marginalisation of disadvantaged communities and access to education and other basic services.

We offer advice, finance research and knowledge transfer, and provide grants that support EU social cohesion goals via partnerships with local non-governmental organisations (NGOs), universities and academic networks, foundations, research institutes, corporate organisations and governmental bodies.

A flagship initiative, the Social Innovation Tournament, seeks to promote innovative ideas as well as to identify and reward opportunities promising substantial societal benefits or demonstrating best practices with tangible, scalable outcomes. It aims to create social value in relation to the fight against social exclusion.

To foster regional development through social innovation, the Institute and other partners have launched the first Regional Social Innovation Incubator, IRIS, in Northern Portugal.

The EIB Institute organises regular meetings and seminars to present and transfer knowledge and best practices in respect of social issues such as inequality, well-being, impact investing, gender, social entrepreneurship and philanthropy. Until 2021, with the University of Luxembourg and other partners, it organised the October Days for Sustainable Development, focusing on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The Institute provides grants only for disaster relief and organises donations of second-hand EIB Group IT equipment.

In the area of microfinance, the Institute complements the actions of the EIB Group with both its Social and Knowledge activities – mainly through grants and sponsorships – by organising conferences and other initiatives, and supporting higher education and research enabling the development of microfinance in Europe and beyond.

Financial education is one of the cornerstones of the EIBI’s strategy for reducing inequalities. We believe that effective promotion of financial education contributes to social and economic development.

Follow the link to read about the Social Programme’s activities throughout the years.