Main funding opportunities

Improving SMEs' access to finance and markets

COSME stands for Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises. The programme aims to improve SMEs’ access to finance and markets through two financial instruments (the Loan Guarantee Facility and the Equity Facility for Growth). The programme is managed by EASME, the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises.

Supporting the EU's energy, transport and digital networks

SMEs are also eligible for funding under the CEF (Connecting Europe Facility) programme, which finances projects related to energy, transport and ICT. The CEF is managed by INEA, the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency.

Improving European research and innovation

Horizon 2020 is the EU's biggest research and innovation programme. The Horizon SME instrument targets highly innovative SMEs with a strong ambition to grow and internationalise, regardless of whether they are high-tech, research-driven, social or services- providing companies.

SMEs can get up to EUR 2.5 million each in funding for business support and mentoring. Horizon 2020 areas are managed through the Executive Agency for SMEs, EASME.

Reducing wealth disparities between European regions 

EU Cohesion policy aims to reduce disparities in wealth between Europe’s regions. It focuses on investing in regions, cities and the real economy to stimulate growth and jobs. It addresses climate change and dependence on energy imports, and reduces poverty and social exclusion.

Supporting SMEs is a key priority of cohesion policy. Each EU country is responsible for managing cohesion funding on its own territory.

Supporting agriculture in the European Union

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) makes funding available to small companies through: 

●  the School milk scheme, the School fruit scheme and the Promotion of EU farm products

●  direct payment under the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund

●  the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development