Supporting entrepreneurs setting up their own business is one of the objectives of the European Social Fund (ESF). ESF offers a range of funding opportunities for financial and non-financial services. It has been used to co-finance entrepreneurship training and guarantee funds in different countries such as Lithuania, France and Germany to name a few.
Nevertheless, even when ESF have specific lining with the MF sector in Europe, MFIs are having extraordinary difficulties in order to be instrumental in channeling these funds towards the underserved. In 2017, EMN and MFC undertook a short mapping study to identify some of the difficulties faced in accessing ESF by member MFIs from different EU countries in order to promote alternative solutions to the EU institutions.