Erste Social Finance Holding – a True Pioneer of Social Impact

Erste Social Finance Holding, a joint venture of Erste Group and ERSTE Foundation, acts as a social finance investor and intermediary in Central and Eastern Europe. The organisation has recently accomplished two great achievements: the appointment of its CEO, Peter Surek, as a member of the InvestEU Investment Committee and the launch of an innovative social finance instrument.

Erste Social Finance Holding – a True Pioneer of Social Impact
Oli Scarff, AFP, Getty Images

Peter Surek, CEO of Erste Social Finance Holding, appointed as member of the InvestEU Investment Committee

The CEO of Erste Social Finance Holding, a joint venture of Erste Group and ERSTE Foundation – an EVPA member – has been appointed as one of the eleven independent experts that make up the InvestEU Investment Committee, focusing on the “social investment and skills” window. This committee approves the use of the EU guarantee for financing and investment operations proposed by the implementing partners of the InvestEU Fund. In doing this, the committee verifies compliance with the regulation and investment guidelines of the InvestEU Fund.

New social finance instrument “Quasi-equity” launched

The social finance instrument “Quasi-equity” is for already established social organisations and can be used for a wide variety of purposes, ranging from opening additional branches, launching new products or services, to digitalising operations. It can also support recovering from the consequences of the Covid-19 crisis, and co-finance smaller social real estate projects, such as social housing, housing for older people, kindergartens, or care facilities. Quasi-equity is available to social enterprises, non-profit and non-governmental organisations in Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Serbia, and Croatia.

Quasi-equity is most suitable for enterprises seeking to grow. Its novelty lies in its issuance as debt whilst being able to boost equity It enables this by making repayment of the loan, in case of a bankruptcy of the social enterprise, subordinate to all other debt of the enterprise. The loan is therefore subject to “quasi” the same conditions as an equity investment but does not interfere with the ownership structure of the social enterprise while enhancing its risk profile.

The EU supports Erste Social Finance Holding in developing Quasi-equity through its programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI), which among others aims to increase access to finance for social enterprises.

“The Covid-19 crisis has unveiled multiple deficiencies in the health, education and social system in our region. That’s why we believe it is essential to foster the resilience and development of social organisations tackling these challenges. By boosting their equity, Quasi-equity strengthens the organisations’ financial health, enabling them to pursue their growth plans and to realise new projects or scale up existing ones. This allows social organisations to increase their impact by making their products and services accessible to more beneficiaries,” said Peter Surek, CEO of Erste Social Finance Holding.

Erste Social Finance is currently seeking social enterprises interested in Quasi-equity! You can find more information here.

EVPA and ERSTE Foundation long-lasting cooperation

EVPA congratulates Erste Social Finance Holding for these two outstanding achievements and looks forward to actively enforcing this long-lasting collaboration! EVPA is particularly proud to support impact investment promoted by the ERSTE Foundation and the Erste Group and the efficient deployment of EU funding to serve society and drive social development in the CEE region.

EVPA and its members closely follow the InvestEU programme and relevant funding opportunities for investors for impact at the EU level. An infographic and policy brief explaining the long-term EU budget, and the main access points for investors for impact will be published soon. Stay tuned!

We encourage you to connect with our Senior Policy and EU Partnerships Manager - Bianca Polidoro (bpolidoro(at) or our Policy and EU Partnerships Associate - Cătălina Papari ( for more information.