What funding and support is available for SMEs?
To help SMEs navigate the current economic crisis, the European Commission has created several funding schemes.
In particular, the REACT-EU funding scheme is a comprehensive and ambitious recovery plan. It will play a key role in ensuring a balanced recovery, fostering convergence, and ensuring no one is left behind.
The EU's recovery plan will also involve additional funding for European SMEs, especially concerning the green and digital transition.
To be more specific on the funding available for SMEs, Johanna Marin-Hyppönen, Senior Advisor at the Enterprise Europe Network in Finland, discussed the COSME Loan Guarantee Facility in a recent interview:
"Through COSME LGF, the European Investment Fund offers guarantees and counter guarantees to selected financial intermediaries (e.g. national banks, guaranteed institutions, commercial banks) in order to help them provide loans and guarantees to SMEs which have difficulty accessing finance due to insufficient collateral. The SME Guarantee is intended for an SME that meets the EU definition of an SME and is more than three years old from its first registration in the Trade Register. Applying for an SME guarantee is simple – the SME’s own bank files the application. The terms of the guarantee are attractive. The SME guarantee does not require collateral and the underlying loan from a bank can be up to €150k, and the guarantee rate is 80%."
Building on this, Johanna added: "The Enterprise Europe Network is helping companies innovate and grow internationally. We assist companies in access to finance (both EU and national funding) and we provide advice on internationalisation and legal questions as well as market-specific information. We also help companies in finding new cooperation partners from abroad and our services are available for companies free of charge and also in virtual format. Companies can network with potential partners via our events just by sitting in their home office and using their own laptop".
There are many different EU programmes, including:
- Horizon Europe;
- the Innovation Fund;
- the European Green Deal;
- LIFE;Creative Europe;
- Digital Europe;
- the European Defence Fund;
- the European Social Fund+;
- the European Regional Development Fund.
Read the full interview with Johanna Marin-Hyppönen and find out more about SME funding here.