COSME agreement signing ceremony, with the participation of Ferdinando Nelli Feroci
On 22 July 2014, on behalf of the European Commission on one hand and of the European Investment Fund (EIF) on the other hand, Pierluigi Gilibert, Chief Executive of the European Investment Fund (EIF), andDaniel Calleja Crespo, Director-General of DG Enterprise and Industry of the EC, signed an agreement which will boost funding opportunities for SMEs. Thanks to the € 1,3 bn allocated in the COSME budget for SME financing, it will be possible to mobilise up to € 25 bn via leverage effects from financial intermediaries over the next seven years. The agreement paves the way for providing equity and debt financing for SMEs under the EU Competitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs (COSME) programme by the end of 2014. Following the signature of the agreement, the EIF will open call for expression of interest to which eligible financial institutions (banks, guarantee institutions, funds etc.) can apply. 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.
COSME is the EU programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) running from 2014 to 2020 with a planned budget of €2.3bn with a leverage effect able to provide up to €25 bn. The programme will support SMEs in the following areas: better access to finance for SMEs, access to markets and promotion of the entrepreneurial culture. The COSME programme builds on the success of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) which helped to mobilise more than € 16 bn of loans and € 2.8 bn of venture capital to over 328 000 SMEs in Europe from 2007-2013.