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CIP Financial Instruments

CIP Financial Instruments

The Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) was designed to provide small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with better access to finance, as well as support for innovation, and regional business support.

Access to finance was made easier using financial instruments that help businesses raise equity and debt financing.

With a budget of over EUR 1 billion, these instruments helped more than 340,000 SMEs get access to loans and equity finance.

The programme ran from 2007 to 2013 but financing is still available through financial intermediaries that have been recently selected and approved.

CIP has been replaced by COSME - the EU programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).

The high growth and innovative SME facility (GIF)

This instrument has provided risk capital to:

  • innovative SMEs in their early-stages
  • SMEs with high growth potential in their expansion phase.

SMEs wishing to apply for equity investment under CIP need to contact the financial intermediaries that have signed an agreement with the European Investment Fund (EIF). The list of intermediaries is published on the Access to Finance website. Investment decisions are based on normal commercial criteria.

The SME guarantee facility (SMEG)

This provides loan guarantees that encourage banks to make more debt finance (including microcredit and mezzanine finance) available to SMEs by reducing the banks' exposure to risk. SMEG has provided direct, counter- and co-guarantees to financial intermediaries providing SMEs with loans, mezzanine finance, and equity.

SMEs wishing to benefit from funding under SMEG need to contact the financial intermediaries that have signed an agreement with the EIF. The list of financial intermediaries is published on the Access to Finance website.

CIP documents and links

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