Better access to finance for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs)
COSME will facilitate and improve access to finance for SMEs through two different financial instruments, available from 2014:
The Loan Guarantee Facility
The COSME budget will fund guarantees and counter-guarantees for financial intermediaries (e.g. guarantee organisations, banks, leasing companies) to help them provide more loan and lease finance to SMEs. This facility will also include securitisation of SME debt finance portfolios.
By sharing the risk, the COSME guarantees will allow the financial intermediaries to expand the range of SMEs they can finance. This will facilitate access to debt finance for many SMEs who might otherwise not be able to raise the funding they need. From 2007 to date, more than 240 000 SMEs have already benefited from a guaranteed loan or lease thanks to the CIP, the current programme supporting business competitiveness.
The Equity Facility for Growth
The COSME budget will also be invested in funds that provide venture capital and mezzanine finance to expansion and growth-stage SMEs in particular those operating across borders.
The fund managers will operate on a commercial basis, to ensure that investments are focused on SMEs with the greatest growth potential.
From 2007 to date, the CIP has mobilised more than 2.3 billion euros in equity investments.
If you are an SME or an entrepreneur looking for debt or equity finance and would like to see which financial intermediaries currently work with the CIP, as well as the other EU current and future financial instruments, visit http://access2eufinance.ec.europa.eu.