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Improving access to finance for SMEs: key to economic recovery
Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) will drive the recovery in
Europe, but they need improved and easy access to finance.
Over the last few years the European Commission has been constantly
working to improve their situation.
This commitment is reiterated in a joint European Commission/European
Investment Bank (EIB) Group report published today.
At a time when the situation remains difficult, the EIB Group's support
for SMEs reached €13 billion in 2012.
In addition, with a budget of €1.1 billion, Commission-funded
guarantees helped to mobilise loans worth more than €13 billion, boosting nearly
220 000 small businesses across Europe.
Today´s report covers the results of the current funding schemes as
well as the new generation of financial instruments for SMEs.
Financial resources for SMEs will be significantly enhanced through the
€10 billion increase in the EIB’s capital.
As part of the Commission’s continuing efforts to support SMEs,
European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani, responsible for enterprise
and industry policy, today also launched a new single online portal on all EU
financial instruments for SMEs as well an information guide to promote SME stock
listings, at a meeting of the SME Finance Forum on the eve of an Informal
Competitiveness Council on 2 and 3 May in Dublin.
European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for
Industry and Entrepreneurship, said:
"Access to finance of SMEs remains difficult and is one of the main
reasons for the current economic downturn.
Therefore we intend to enlarge our loan guarantees to SMEs under the
new COSME programme as of 2014.
Each euro dedicated to our guarantees has the power to stimulate - on
average – 30 euros in bank loans.
This is crucial to help Europe's jobs engine, our small enterprises, to
run smoothly again.
It is they who create 85% of all new jobs."
Almost 220,000 SMEs profited from Commission CIP programme
With a budget of €1.1 billion, the Competitiveness and Innovation
Framework Programme (CIP) has helped to mobilise over €13 billion of loans and
€2.3 billion of venture capital for SMEs across Europe.
Under its SME guarantee facility, CIP has helped nearly 220,000 SMEs to
These loan guarantees are used in cases where the entrepreneur or the
small enterprises do not have sufficient collateral to offer and the bank will
not provide a loan.
90% of the beneficiaries have 10 or less employees and this is the
category that has most difficulties to get a loan.
The average guaranteed loan is about €65,000.
Each euro dedicated to CIP guarantees has a power to mobilise - on
average – 30 Euros in bank loans.
As a result, with a limited budget of €1.1 billion, CIP was able to
stimulate so far more than €15 billion of financing for SMEs.
Single access point to all EU financial instruments for SMEs
The new single access point provides simple and easy access to over
€100 billion of EU financing available under the different EU programmes in the
current programme period (2007-2013).
Europe is providing a mix of flexible financial instruments under
programmes such as the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP),
Progress Microfinance, the Risk Sharing Instrument (FP7), EIB loans and
Better access to equity markets – promotion of SME listings
The European Commission also launched today a targeted information
campaign to promote SME listings and stimulate investors’ interest in SMEs and
To this end the Commission published a web-based information guide for
SME stock listings.
This tool provides advice to small and medium-sized businesses on how
to go public.
It will be combined with the creation of an award for the best European
stock market listings among small and mid-cap companies.