€2 billion Programme to strengthen EU SMEs - Bruton
Jobs Minister Richard Bruton today announced that the Irish Presidency has secured agreement with the European Parliament to improve access to finance for SMEs under the Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs (COSME) 2014 – 2020.
The Programme proposes to allocate more than €2 billion over the lifetime of the Programme to strengthen the competitiveness and sustainability of the EU’s SMEs.
Commenting on this agreement, the Minister said:
Achieving agreement on these proposals with the Commission and the European Parliament was a key priority under the Irish Presidency. The only EU programme specifically designed to assist SMEs, COSME aims at improving access to finance and markets, promoting entrepreneurship and improving conditions for the competitiveness and sustainability of EU SMEs. SMEs are the engines of growth and job creation in Europe, and achieving the agreement on COSME sends a strong positive signal to all European SMEs.
The agreement, secured after more than five months of intensive negotiations, provides for:
Improved access to finance for SMEs in the form of equity and debt comprising over 60% of the total COSME budget, including:
an equity facility for growth-phase investment will provide venture capital for SMEs through financial intermediaries
a loan facility to provide SMEs with direct or other risk-sharing arrangements with financial intermediaries to cover loans
Improved access to markets for SMEs, to facilitate business expansion inside the EU and globally through growth-oriented support services via the Enterprise Europe Network
Measures to improve entrepreneurial skills and attitudes, especially among new entrepreneurs, young people and women
For more information read the full press release here.