SME Instrument: 100 companies towards €4.5 bn turnover and 6,300 new jobs in 3 years

SME Instrument: 100 companies towards €4.5 bn turnover and 6,300 new jobs in 3 years

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At the end of a SME Instrument project, the beneficiary must send a report to EASME. They are also asked to answer a few questions. Here’s what came out of the first 100 questionnaires filled by SMEs funded under Phase 1 of the programme.

Company growth forecast

These SMEs plan a total of €4.5 bn cumulative turnover during the first 3 years after the commercialisation of their innovative product or service. In total they plan to create 6,300 new jobs during the same period.

Areas of improvement

When asked to tell in which areas the SME Instrument helped them to improve, the SMEs mentioned:

  • Better relation with local business support organisations;
  • Better understanding of their clients' needs;
  • Improved reputation and better visibility of the company;
  • Better knowledge of competitors;
  • Better understanding of intellectual property issues;
  • Better understanding of technical issues.

Sources of funding – what’s next?

All the SMEs plan to apply under Phase 2 of the programme. 67% plan to use their own resources to further develop their business idea, 34% would like to turn to venture capital, and 26% plan to ask for a loan.

19% of the respondents would seek support from business angels, 18% would use national or regional programmes and 13% would turn to other parts of Horizon 2020.

Only 3% of the SMEs would like to resort to crowdfunding.



  • Peter Haydon's picture

    Under the 70:30 funding for many SME projects it is interesting to read that 67% of SMEs plan to use their own funds. In the case of projects like Esave Corporation's MeRIT Project for 'maximizing renewable energy integration' the project cost is €2,553,792, including SME funding of 30%, which means that as an SME we must secure €766,138 funding contribution.

    Our experience is that seed and VC funds will not invest at least until the project is post demonstration and can show a definitive commercialization roadmap and sales pipeline. Our understanding is that the Risk Sharing Instrument (RSI) was established by the EC to provide a mechanism to address the 30% funding issue. However, in Ireland none of the banks have signed up to the initiative, so its not an option.

    At present, we are pursuing the possibility that our 'Installation Partner' and the Irish Development Agency (Enterprise Ireland) might provide investment funding to address the 30% funding component. I'd be interested in hearing suggestions that might assist and will be happy to assist other H2020 applicants, where possible.

    Peter Haydon, CEO, Esave Corporation, Ireland

  • vazquev's picture

    Dear Peter,

    It was a multiple choice question therefore the respondents were usually matching several replies. The 30% own input is indeed an issue, especially for very small SMEs. VCs, seed funds and business angels could be one source of funding, the Risk sharing facility and other financial instruments of the Commission are another - however the finalisation of contracts with national financial institutions is happening just now. Contacting national authorities responsible for innovation is definitely a good idea – we had cases where these organisation has backed financially the Phase 2 beneficiaries (eg. Scotish investment Bank)

    Best Eva @EASME

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