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European Union support programmes for SMEs

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European Commission, Enterprise and Industry DG.

An overview of the main funding opportunities available to European SMEs. NEW January 2012 edition.

The European Union provides support to European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

This is available in different forms such as grants, loans and, in some cases, guarantees.

Support is available either directly or through programmes managed at national or regional level, such as the European Union’s Structural Funds.

SMEs can also benefit from a series of non-financial assistance measures in the form of programmes and business support services.

This guide aims to present the European programmes available to SMEs and contains brief information as well as the main web sites for each programme.

Please note that the guide is not exhaustive.

The assistance schemes have been divided into the following four categories:

  • Thematic funding opportunities
  • Structural funds
  • Financial instruments
  • Support for the internationalisation of SMEs


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