Enterprise Expansion Fund (ENEF)

53.6m €
invested in SMEs
supported companies
jobs supported

What is ENEF?

Managed and advised by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and investing since 2016, the Enterprise Expansion Fund (ENEF) finances established SMEs with high growth potential to support the development and expansion of their businesses. In particular ENEF aims to identify local and regional champions – market leaders with good growth prospects – and provide them with the financing they need to take them to the next level.

Learn more about ENEF

ENEF focuses its investments in expansion stage SMEs, meaning those which are already well-established, but need advice and financing to expand their businesses further.

ENEF provides equity and quasi-equity funding to private companies incorporated or investing in projects to be implemented in the Western Balkan Region.

The initial investors into ENEF are the European Commission, the EBRD including financing from the Italian State, the European Investment Fund (EIF),  Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), and the Austrian Development Bank (OeEB). The total financing from these partners totals EUR 48.5m. The EBRD furthermore co-invests on a deal-by-deal basis at 1:1; meaning that for every euro invested by ENEF, it is met equally with 1 additional euro from the EBRD.

ENEF is internally managed and advised by The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). In order to handle the increased activities due to the launch of ENEF, the EBRD has strengthened its network of resident offices and bankers in the Region. EBRD in its Investment Advisor capacity is also in charge of compiling a pipeline of suitable projects with a balanced geographical and sector distribution.

Key facts and features

  • For SMEs with a high growth potential

  • target fund size of up to € 97 million

  • provides equity and quasi equity financing for expansion of businesses

  • Eligible SMEs can obtain investments from € 1m up to € 7 million on average

  • Aiming to finance approximately 15-25 SMEs in the region

The Enterprise Innovation Fund - Background

According to the 2014-2015 World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index, the Western Balkans regions have limited innovation and venture capital available, despite the relatively good quality of scientific research institutions and progress in the economy. Equity investment instruments can therefore address some of these shortcomings and aim to set the basis for further development of these companies. This is why an expansion stage fund was considered as important for the WB EDIF Platform in order to help SMEs which find themselves wanting to take their enterprise to the next level.

ENEF provides equity, quasi-equity and to a limited extent debt funding to private companies incorporated or investing in projects to be implemented in the Western Balkan Region. ENEF aims to support established SMEs with a high potential to grow in the Western Balkans to support their further expansion by improving access to finance for them. ENEF has a fund size of EUR 48.5m , which is being further leveraged in a proportion 1:1 by pari passu co-investments from the EBRD through its Direct Financing Framework (DFF) on a deal-by-deal level.

Contact to apply:

For more information please visit the EBRD’s website.

For all enquiries regarding the Enterprise Expansion Fund, please contact:
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
Fabio Serri
T : (+381) 11 2120 636

News & Events


1st Western Balkans Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility (WB EDIF) Business Forum

On 25 June 2021, the Western Balkans Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility (WB EDIF) held its first virtual Business Forum. The event was organized by the Enterprise Europe Network and supported by the European Commission and the European Investment Fund.

More than 130 participants from the entire Western Balkans region and beyond attended the Business Forum. Most of the attendees were Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), local intermediaries and entrepreneurs. The participants wanted to learn more about the existing and future funding opportunities provided by the European Commission and international financial institutions under the WB EDIF platform. The audience also had the possibility to hear about the experience from finance and advisory providers and fellow SMEs who had benefited from the available programmes.

The event was opened by a lively panel composed of representatives of the Enterprise Innovation Fund (ENIF) under WB EDIF, EBRD, Raiffeisen Albania bank and the Serbian SME BG Reklam. The speakers shared their experience from the pandemic and how the available opportunities could be utilized. The panellists shared a common opinion that the region has a very good potential, plenty of innovative ideas and creativity that can be translated into new business opportunities and growth, if the existing hurdles and market failures are adequately addressed. The general consensus was that, like and more than in the EU, the crisis in the Western Balkans can be also an opportunity to grow stronger and more resilient if companies find market niches, show creativity and innovation.

In the second part of the event an online matchmaking took place, where companies were able to meet finance and advisory providers under the WB EDIF. The meetings were bilateral and the overall feedback provided by attendees and intermediaries has been very positive.

A special thanks goes to the Enterprise Europe Network for organizing the event and to all attendees and entrepreneurs who contributed to making it a success.

Support to the private sector has been identified in the EU’s Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans as one of the Flagships. The development of a robust, innovative and competitive private sector is essential for the socio-economic development of the Western Balkans and its regional integration. This requires, in particular, increased investments in SMEs and their capacity to innovate, scale-up and grow



WB EDIF at the Poznan Summit 2019

The Western Balkans Summit Poznan 2019 took place on July 3-5, where the Ministers of foreign affairs, internal affairs and economy convened on July 4 and on the day after the heads of states and governments discussed key issues concerning Western Balkans. The European Commissioner for Enlargement, Johannes Hahn opened the Berlin Process for Western Balkan with the participation of the Forum for Business and Civil Society.

Read more

See more news & events

Case studies


Bosnia & Herzegovina Case Study

Founded in 1995 as a s mall bakery shop located in the family house of the newly-married Trivic couple, Krajina Klas has now, 20 years later, grown to 490 employees with EUR 10m in turnover and is the leading producer of bakery and confectionary products in Bosnia Herzegovina.

Find out how WB EDIF’s expansion fund, ENEF, financed this family business in its growth stages.

WBEDIF Succes Stories – Krajina Klas

Discover other means of support

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