The European Commission has a set of measures to help finance innovative and growing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This
includes making finance systems more SME friendly, facilitating finance of start-ups, innovation and growth as well as measures to generate more risk capital investments.
Through the EU financial instruments of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) a sizeable sum of money has been made available to help SMEs across the EU to access loans and equity to grow and develop their business. These EU financial instruments are operated by the European Investment Fund (EIF) in cooperation with national, regional and local financial institutions, which comprise the interface with the customer groups.
There are also other EU programmes with measures specially designed for SMEs: Seventh Framework Programme for research and technological development, Jeremie programme and Eurostars project (more)
EU Finance Day for SMEs is a series of events in the Member States that the European Commission is organising to inform about the EU financial instruments for SMEs together with the national financial intermediaries that implement these instruments locally. The aim is to raise awareness about different sources of finance and provide a forum for sharing good practices in helping innovative SMEs get easier access to finance.
For these events, the European Commission will also invite speakers from:
One-day events are being organised in all Member State capitals in 2008 - 2011. A list of dates is announced regularly on this site.
Invitations to the events will be sent to organisations representing SMEs, financial institutions and financial advisors, policy makers in national governments or regional authorities, chambers of commerce, local venture capital and business angels associations, business organisations, entrepreneurs, incubators, spin-offs, organisations and networks promoting innovation and other similar organisations.
During their start-up phase, SMEs often face a number of problems directly linked to the lack of resources: lack of human resources, lack of experience, lack of expertise in certain fields, lack of contacts, and of course, lack of financial capacity. Business defaults can have many causes but there is a societal interest in reducing hindrances for start-ups and small enterprises with growth potential. One of the most important issues is to improve the access to suitable finance.
The Commission has developed a number of actions aimed at addressing these problems, and more details can be found on European Portal for SMEs (available in all EU languages).
Helping SMEs to develop their innovative potential and raise awareness about Commission policies and programmes is the aim of the Enterprise Europe Network. This new European Commission initiative offers entrepreneurs a one stop shop where they can seek advice and benefit from a wide range of easily accessible business support services.
No further events are currently planned
Past events *:
* Presentations available