Commission presents the new generation of financing programmes for SMEs: Over €100 billion for 2014-2020, at a conference hosted by ICO

Commission presents the new generation of financing programmes for SMEs: Over €100 billion for 2014-2020, at a conference hosted by ICO

Commission presents the new generation of financing programmes for SMEs: Over €100 billion for 2014-2020, at a conference hosted by ICO


The European Commission and ICO are holding a conference in Madrid today to present the new generation of EU financial instruments to support small and medium-sized businesses. The aim of this conference is to pave the way for mobilising more financing to businesses in Spain.

The event is hosted by Irene Garrido, Chairwoman of ICO and features opening remarks by Daniel Calleja, Director-General of DG Enterprise and Industry and Víctor Audera, SME Envoy for Spain, General Director of Industry and SME, Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism. The participants are representatives of financial institutions, business organisations and representatives of the Spanish government.

SMEs are the key driver of the European economy, being primarily responsible for economic growth and job creation. The new EU programmes will give a fresh impetus to the European economy by easing access to credit and equity for SMEs.

The European Commission¿s financing programmes have been a success in Spain. For the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP), the European Commission has been working with CERSA and La Caixa to improve access to finance for SMEs. So far over 83,000 SMEs have benefited from the CIP financial instruments.

From 2014 to 2020, new EU programmes will help to bridge the market gap in the provision of SME financing. The conference will give an overview of the future EU financing programmes available within the COSME, Structural Funds and InnovFin (Horizon 2020). It will provide for an opportunity to explain how these instruments work and to encourage financial institutions in Spain to become intermediaries for the EU programmes.

This event is one of a series of EU Access to Finance Days across the Member States presenting the new EU financial instruments.


More about the COSME programme

The Competitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs (COSME) programme is expected to provide up to 25 billion of financing in loans or equity investments, boosting up to  330 000 SMEs in Europe over the lifetime of the programme. The COSME financing programme will largely continue the successful activities of CIP. The CIP programme (2007-2013) facilitated so far more than €17 billion worth of loans and over €2.9 billion in venture capital to over 345 000 SMEs across Europe. COSME is expected to respond even better to SME needs, targeting the more vulnerable categories of small businesses that are currently underserved by the market.


What type of actions are supported under COSME?

COSME provides the following kind of support:

·    Loan guarantees for SMEs having difficulties to obtain loans from the banking system

·    Equity investments for SMEs in their expansion and growth stage

·    Free of charge practical information and direct services to companies looking for partners, funding, information on new markets, EU programmes or legislation through the Enterprise Europe Network.

More about EU financing programmes

A wide range of EU financing programmes have been designed to catalyse financing for SMEs through loan guarantees, equity investments and other risk-bearing mechanisms.

EU assistance is channelled through selected financial institutions, such as banks, leasing companies, mutual guarantee societies or venture capital funds, who are willing to subscribe to strong SME finance enhancing conditions.

How businesses can access EU finance

The Access to finance portal provides easy, complete and up-to-date information on how entrepreneurs and SMEs can access over a total of € 100 bn of EU financing through various EU programmes. The portal provides detailed information on how SMEs can apply for finance supported by the EU, via one of approximately 1 000 banks and other financial institutions. The portal is accessible in all EU languages and for all EU and candidate countries.

How financial institutions can access EU finance

Financial institutions can apply to the call for expression of interest to become an intermediary for the new EU financing programmes under COSME, InnovFin or other EU programmes. The call for expression of interest was published on the website of the European Investment Fund (EIF). After a thorough due diligence process, the EIF will select financial intermediaries which can then make the new finance available to European SMES across all sectors.