(14 November 2013) – Access to finance is still among the top concerns of the EU’s small and medium sized enterprises and younger and smaller firms are the most badly affected, according to the “Access to Finance” survey released today by the European Commission and European Central Bank.
About one third of the SMEs surveyed did not manage to get the full financing they had planned for during 2013 and 15% of survey respondents saw access to finance as a significant problem for their companies. Companies believed that bank financing conditions worsened during 2013, with respect to interest rates, collateral and required guarantees.
The Commission will combat problems with access to finance using the new Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs (COSME). Running between 2014 and 2020, COSME is the first ever Commission programme that is exclusively dedicated to supporting SMEs. COSME will provide a guarantee facility for SME loans.
The programme’s equity facility will also stimulate the supply of venture capital, with a particular focus on the expansion and growth phase of SMEs. In addition, equity financing, an especially important option for high-growth young enterprises, will be stimulated.