The single portal on EU finance expanded to Structural FundsJune 25, 2013
Funding Scheme: 2013-06-25
The European Commission has decided to expand the single portal on EU finance, created last month, to Structural Funds (European Regional Development Fund – ERDF and European Social Fund – ESF).
This portal, designed for entrepreneurs and SMEs, aims to provide easy, complete and up-to-date information on the European fund and on the possibilities for enterprises to access to almost 100 billion euro, spread throughout various 2007-2013 funding programmes.
Access to finance is one of the most pressing problems facing SMEs in Europe. In the last two years almost one-third of the SMEs applying for bank loans were refused or ended up getting less than requested. This month’s European Small Business Finance Outlook confirms that the business environment for European SMEs is getting worse and euro area banks have tightened their credit standards. Information and access to EU funding is more important for businesses than ever before. Structural funds are already providing help for SMEs of around 70 billion euros for the 2007-13 period.
Information on available EU financial instruments
EU financial instruments for SMEs covered by the website include the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP), Progress Microfinance, the Risk-Sharing Instrument (FP7), EIB loans for SMEs and now Member States’ national and regional Operational Programmes implementing cohesion policy objectives.
User-friendly website for SMEs
The single portal provides detailed information on how SMEs can apply for finance supported by the EU, via one of approximately 1000 banks and other financial institutions.
The single portal on EU finance enables entrepreneurs and companies to find tailor-made financing according to their specific financial needs such as company size, type of finance and investment focus. The portal is accessible in various EU languages and for all EU and candidate countries.
Access to finance in the regions- Crucial for return to growth
Financial instruments have become an increasingly important delivery tool of EU cohesion policy during 2007-2013. At the end of 2011, more than €3.6 billion has already been invested in enterprises through almost 68 000 loans, guarantee, venture capital/equity and other financial products.
By the end of 2011, a total of 484 specific funds for businesses (loan, guarantee, equity/venture capital and other) were set up in 25 Member States and one cross-border cooperation region. Overall, in the 2007-13 period to date, €69.7 billion of ERDF and ESF went towards SME support – this goes up to at least €95.4 billion respectively if the national co-financing is taken into account. By the end of December 2012, the financial instruments of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework (CIP) Programme mobilised almost €13bn of guarantees and more than €2.3bn of venture capital. Over 220,000 SMEs had already benefited from the programme across Europe. European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani has asked to increase the budget of CIP financial instruments by €19 million to help SMEs having difficulties accessing finance.
Url description: European Commission Press