Though there exist a number of funding opportunities that are specifically targeted towards owners of small- and medium-sized enterprises, the following programmes may also offer opportunities to applicants of this profile.

  • The European Commission provides grants to support projects or organisations which further the interests of the EU. SMEs and other interested parties can apply by responding to calls for proposals. It also uses public contracts to buy goods and services. The providers are selected through calls for tender.

  • Support for entrepreneurs and businesses is available through a wide range of EU programmes, via local financial institutions. The “Access to finance” portal helps find EU financing for projects such as loans, guarantees, equity funding and many others.

  • The Microfinance Facility of the Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI) helps the SME sector by providing loans of up to €25,000 to individuals for setting up or developing a small business.

  • The European Social Fund (ESF) provides support to SMEs to help them improve their competitiveness, for example through training.

  • The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) enables SMEs to benefit from higher levels of support as the vast majority of firms in fisheries and aquaculture are SMEs.

  • European Investment Bank (EIB) loans for SMEs through the LIFE programme for Climate Action

  • Funding opportunities in the field of development funded by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development

  • The Executive Training Programme, which encourages SMEs to expand their business in Japan and Korea.