• Maximizing EFSE's impact

The Development Facility: maximising EFSE's impact

The EFSE Development Facility provides customised capacity building, training, and other support to institutions, organisations, and individuals across the financial sector and the wider ecosystem. By expanding capacities, opening up access to resources, promoting best practices for sustainable finance, and more, the Development Facility multiplies the impact and outreach of the fund, creating the conditions for sustainable entrepreneurship to thrive.


Key figures since the inception of the Development Facility in 2006


number of projects


total project volume


institutions served


direct beneficiaries of capacity building advisory


partnerships with ecosystem players established


financial sector and ecosystem staff trained

How The Development Facility Works

Whether by developing training workshops, holding awareness-raising events, or conducting impact studies, the EFSE Development Facility is active across the financial ecosystem.

Through our Entrepreneurship Academy, we support startups from conception all the way to the growth stage. Moreover, we foster sustainable and responsible financing for micro, small and medium enterprises with projects covering a wide range of relevant topics.

The Development Facility works closely with the fund's investees to proactively identify their capacity building needs and develop a customized capacity building package together. We also conduct impact studies to assess the market and measure the fund's progress toward our impact goals. And we hold high-level forums to bring together key sector players to discuss best practices in, for example, local currency financing.


Strengthening the financial and business infrastructure for micro, small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurs across the EFSE region

The EFSE Entrepreneurship Academy is an initiative of the Development Facility that provides direct support to small businesses throughout Southeast Europe and the EU Eastern Neighbourhood Region. We work together with on-the-ground organisations, such as local incubators and accelerators, to supply entrepreneurs with training, resources, mentoring, networking opportunities, the chance to receive financial backing, and more. In this way, the EFSE Entrepreneurship Academy provides the self-employed with essential tools for success in the spirit of EFSE as The Entrepreneurship Fund.

Entrepreneurship Academy project examples

  • Startups graduate from acceleration program, pitch ideas to raise seed capital

    Supported by the EFSE Entrepreneurship Academy under the EU4Business initiative, the Armenia Startup Academy held an online demo day for 15 startups who had completed its 12-week pre-acceleration program. The program prepares local tech startups to raise pre-seed capital and enter leading regional and global accelerators. The cohort includes a range of fledgling companies from diverse industries; nearly 40% are led by female founders.

  • Creating a financial education programme for entrepreneurs in Georgia

    As part of the country’s “Year of Financial Literacy,” the National Bank of Georgia partnered with the EFSE Entrepreneurship Academy to develop a financial education program for small and medium enterprises. Participants gained essential knowledge and skills for making sound financial decisions based on their own business needs and capacities. They also learned about the sources of business finance, relevant financial services, and approaches and indicators used for business assessment.

  • Training academy for entrepreneurs in Bosnia and Herzegovina

    The EFSE Entrepreneurship Academy and NLB Banka Sarajevo partnered on an entrepreneur training academy that aimed to boost business growth and job security in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The program was geared toward established small and medium enterprises in need of professional business development and consulting services. Workshops were also offered to the bank’s relationship managers to hone their ability to meet the specific needs of SMEs.

  • Piloting recoverable grants to provide entrepreneurs with access to capital

    The EFSE Entrepreneurship Academy worked together with Mozaik, an incubation and acceleration organisation, to introduce recoverable grants as a risk-tolerant and inexpensive instrument for providing early-stage funding for impact business growth. Ten social enterprises affected by the COVID-19 crisis received support to adapt their business models. Recoverable grants are paid back without interest as a means to support future generations of entrepreneurs.


Funding and Governance

The EFSE Development Facility is supported by generous contributions from donors committed to the fund's impact objective as well as by income from EFSE itself. Institutions receiving capacity building advisory are required to contribute a cost share for the projects, and other partners often also share a portion of the costs, thereby leveraging the capacity of the Development Facility.


Bidders who have been invited to submit a proposal may download the procurement documents here:


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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