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8.7 Community initiatives in favor of corporate finance

The Community initiatives aimed at favoring corporate finance include most notably the COSME programme and the Gate2Growth initiative:

  • COSME Programme:

    The COSME (Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) programme is an EU programme aimed at improving the competitiveness of enterprises, with special emphasis on small and medium-sized enterprises, during the 2014-2020 period, now ending.

    COSME helps entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises to begin to operate, access financing and internationalize, in addition to supporting the authorities in the improvement of the business environment and boosting economic growth in the European Union. It is regulated in Regulation (EU) nº 1287/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 11 December 2013, establishing a Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises (COSME) (2014-2020) and repealing Decision nº 1639/2006/EC.

    COSME had a budget of approximately €2.3 billion and supplemented the policies implemented by the Member States themselves in their support of SMEs, helping to strengthen the competitiveness and sustainability of the Union’s enterprises and encouraging entrepreneurial culture.

    The programme’s objectives are:

    • To improve access to finance for SMEs, in the form of equity and debt through financial intermediaries.
    • To improve access by enterprises to markets, in particular within the Union: In particular the Enterprise Europe Network will provide support services aimed at facilitating the expansion of enterprises, inside and outside the European Union, funding international industrial cooperation with a view to reducing the differences between the EU and its main commercial partners.
    • To improve the general conditions for the competitiveness and sustainability of SMEs, including those pursuing their activity in the tourist industry.
    • To promote entrepreneurship and business culture: To develop the entrepreneurial abilities and attitudes, especially among new entrepreneurs, youth and women.

    In addition to supporting internationalization, competitiveness and entrepreneurial culture, COSME is, above all, a financial instrument which will make it possible to improve a SME’s access to financing, since at least 60% of the programme’s total budget (€1.4 billion) is earmarked for this purposes.

    The allocation of these funds is managed by the intermediary entities and bodies of each country that have been previously selected by the EIF. These bodies will be in charge of launching the financial products they have selected, in order to offer them to the SMEs, and will also develop the financial instruments contained therein.

    The promotion and dissemination of COSME among the business sector depends on the active participation of the nearly 600 members of the “Enterprise Europe Network”, distributed throughout the entire territory of the European Union. In addition to furnishing information on European financing available to SMEs, members help enterprises to develop their businesses on new markets and to license new technologies.

    In Spain there are 9 nodes which provide support throughout the national territory:

    • GALACTEA PLUS: Galicia; Principality of Asturias; Cantabria and Castilla y León.
    • Basque Enterprise Europe Network: Basque Countr
    • ACTIS: La Rioja; Navarra; Aragón; Castilla La Mancha and Extremadura.
    • Enterprise Europe Network Madrid: Madrid Autonomous Communit
    • CATCIM: Cataluña
    • SEIMED: Valencia and Murcia.
    • IB SERVICES: Balearic Islands.
    • CESEAND: Andalucía.
    • Enterprise Europe Network CANARIAS: Canary Islands.

    For more information on the COSME programme and the calls open in Spain, see the following websites:

  • InvestorNet - Gate2Growth initiative

    The InvestorNet - Gate2Growth initiative (www.gate2growth.com) is a one-stop shop for innovative entrepreneurs seeking financing. It also offers investors, intermediaries and innovation service-providers, a community for sharing knowledge and good practice.

    The initiative has incorporated all knowledge acquired through the implementation of previous pilot programs, some of the most noteworthy of which are the I-TEC project, the LIFT project and the FIT project.

    One of the most notable characteristics of this initiative is that it acts as a meeting point for innovative entrepreneurs, innovation professionals and potential investors. InvestorNet – Gate2Growth aids innovative European companies with the processes of marketing, internationalization and financial growth, by:

    • Being a partner in commercialization and value chain modeling.
    • Consulting in term-sheet and shareholder agreement negotiations.
    • Raising capital for high-tech ventures and public-private partnerships.
    • Finding strategic partnerships for investments from universities and research institutions.
    • Conducting master class in “How to Attract Investors” “Horizon 2020 SME Instrument” & “Train the Trainers in How to Attract Investors”.

    Many projects have been executed within the framework of the InvestorNet - Gate2Growth initiative, including most notably the following:

    • SLIM: Sustainable low impact mining solution for the mining of small mineral deposits based on advance rock blasting and environmental technologies (2016-2020).
    • RUBIZMO: Replicable business models for modern rural economies (2018-2021).
    • LIBERATE: Lignin biorefinery approach using electrochemical flow (2018-2021).
    • CIRCLES: The control of microbiomes-tailored circular actions to enhance food systems (2018-2023).
    • DEEP PURPLE: Conversion of diluted mixed urban bio-wastes into sustainable materials and projects in flexible purple photobiorefineries.
    • GO GRASS: Grass-based circular business models for rural agri-food value chains (2019-2023).
    • SEALIVE: Circular economic strategies and advanced bio-based solutions to keep land and sea free from plastics contamination (2019-2023).
    • NewTechAqua: New technologies, tools and strategies for a sustainable, resilient and innovative European Aquaculture (2020-2023)

    Lastly, it should be noted that, in addition to the initiatives described above, other specific business financing initiatives, according to activity sector, are also available at Community level.