1994: EIF was founded by the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Community, through the European Commission and a number of European public and private financial institutions as a Public Private Partnership. EIF's main objective was to provide financial institutions with infrastructure and guarantee instruments for SME finance.
1997: Beginning of EIF's involvement in venture capital, as part of the European Commission’s "Growth and Employment" initiative.
2000: EIF was restructured and its shareholding structure was modified. EIB became the majority shareholder, culminating in the formation of the EIB Group. EIB’s role as principal shareholder endorsed EIF’s role as the exclusive vehicle for venture capital of the EIB Group. Since then EIF has continued to provide portfolio guarantees to financial institutions involved in SME finance.