GLS Bank invests EUR 27.9 million in EFSE to promote economic prosperity in Southeast Europe

GLS Bank has made its second investment in the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE). With its purchase of EUR 27.9 million in EFSE notes, the bank is continuing to join forces with EFSE to ensure access to financing for micro and small enterprises and to support low-income private households in Southeast Europe and the European Eastern Neighbourhood Region.

As Germany’s first social and ecological bank, GLS Bank has pursued its goal of generating positive social impact for over forty years. After its successful first investment in EFSE in 2015, this new placement will again be distributed to the bank’s qualified investor clients, effectively allowing them to share in the fund’s mission to promote economic development and prosperity in its focus regions.

EFSE Board Chairman Christoph Tiskens said: "GLS Bank is a valuable partner whose mission is very much in alignment with our own: making sure that small business owners in underserved areas obtain the funds they need to succeed, and that private homeowners have access to sustainable financing. We are delighted to announce the continuation of our successful cooperation.”

Christof Lützel, Spokesperson for GLS Bank, said: "Our partnership has proven to be very productive. We are pleased that we can continue to offer our investors a sustainable financial product that focuses on improving access to financial services in Southeast Europe and the European Eastern Neighbourhood Region. The fund reflects values that are highly regarded among our investors as well as addressing the investors’ risk profiles.”

About the European Fund for Southeast Europe

The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) was initiated by KfW Development Bank (KfW) with the financial support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Commission. It aims to foster economic development and prosperity in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine and Turkey. As access to finance is a key success factor in developing the micro, small and medium enterprise segments, EFSE focuses on assisting local financial sectors in strengthening their ability to ensure adequate and sustainable financing. The funding EFSE provides as long-term finance is channelled to loan customers – primarily micro and small enterprises (MSEs), but also private households for home improvement – through local partner lending institutions. Supporting EFSE’s investment activities is the EFSE Development Facility, which provides partner lending institutions with technical assistance, consulting and training services to build operational capacities and professional management.

Initiated by KfW Development Bank (KfW) on 15 December 2005 from four multi-donor programs under its management, EFSE is the first public-private partnership of its kind and the first privately managed fund in development finance to leverage private funding for MSE finance in the target region. Capital is provided by donor agencies, international financial institutions and private institutional investors, including the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the European Commission (EC), the Government of Albania, Small and Medium Business Credit Support CJSC (SMBCS), a subsidiary of the Central Bank of Armenia, the Development Bank of Austria (Oesterreichische Entwicklungsbank, OeEB), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the Danish International Development Agency (Danida), KfW as Lead Investor, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Netherlands Finance Company (FMO), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), and Deutsche Bank.

Hauck & Aufhäuser Asset Management Services S.à r.l., Luxembourg, acts as EFSE’s Fund Manager and Finance in Motion GmbH, Germany, as Advisor.

For more information about the European Fund for Southeast Europe, please visit  
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About GLS Bank

GLS Bank was the first social and ecological bank in Germany. Since 1974, it has been financing various sustainable businesses like renewable energy companies, independent schools, organic farms, nursing homes, projects for the unemployed, health-food stores and communal living projects. All loans and investments are published. GLS Bank is a cooperative that belongs to over 40,000 members.

For more information, visit:  
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Media contact EFSE
Merle Römer
Manager, Marketing & Communications
Tel: +49 (0)69 271 035-171

Media contact GLS Bank

Christof Lützel
Tel: +49 (0)234 5797 5237

Get in touch

Interested in learning more about how the fund works, or seeking partnership opportunities? Contact an EFSE representative today.


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