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Access to finance

The Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme

CIP Financial instruments

This page presents general information and data reflecting implementation of the CIP financial instruments. The Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) was established to facilitate access to loans and equity finance for SMEs. The programme is structured with a number of schemes and allocation of more than one billion euro implemented between 2007 and 2013.

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is responsible for implementation of the CIP financial instruments on behalf of the European Commission and is divided into two main instruments covering different needs of SMEs. The difference between schemes is marked by the development stage of companies that are supported.

The high growth and innovative facility (GIF) provides

  • Risk capital for innovative SMEs in their early stages (GIF1),
  • Risk capital for SMEs with high growth potential in their expansion phase ( GIF2).

Up to the end of September 2011, the GIF instrument provided assistance to almost 200 SMEs through a network of 28 financial intermediaries. The following table provides an overview of the most important indicators describing GIF performance between start in 2007 and September 2011.

Data
as of 30/06/2011
GIF 1 GIF 2 Total GIF
investment of which in eco- innovation total of which in eco- innovation total of which in eco- innovation
Source: EIF 2011
No of investments 20 3 8 1 28 4
Amount invested in financial intermediaries (mEUR) 218,7 44 108,6 20 327,3 64
No of final beneficiaries (SMEs) 151 26 39 13 190 39

 

Positive prospects resulting from GIF assistance are reported by 94% of beneficiaries surveyed in the context of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (EIP) final evaluation . Of these, 89% revealed that due to the CIP financing, jobs were created or saved in 2010, while 82% reported growth in annual turnover during the past three years. Almost half of the beneficiary SMEs are high growth enterprises (those with annual turnover growth of over 20% over a three year period). Around ¾ of companies claimed that GIF financing resulted in easier access to additional finance.

The SME guarantee facility (SMEG) provides mechanisms encouraging banks to make more debt finance available to SMEs. The instruments available are designed to reduce banks’ risk exposure while assuring SMEs more access to finance. Through SMEG intervention the European Commission assures co-, counter- and direct guarantees to financial intermediaries providing SMEs with loans, mezzanine finance and equity. The scheme is composed with four different "windows" addressing different types of assistance:

The following table provides an overview of the most important indicators regarding implementation of all four windows between 2007 and September 2011.

Data
as of 30/06/2011
Loan window Microcredit window Quasi-equity window Total SMEG
Source: EIF 2011
No of financial intermediaries 28 6 1 32
No of final beneficiaries (SMEs) 120 803 34 525 22 155 350
Loans amount (mEUR) 8 963,6 434,1 1,2 9 398,9
EU Guarantee (mEUR)* 4 910,1 411,8 4,0 5 325,9
Guarantee Cap (mEUR)** 300,5 36,4 0,8 337,7
Gearing (=EU Guarantee/Guarantee Cap) 16,3 11,3 5,0 15,8

* Part of "Loans amount" covered by EU guarantees, resulting from applying the specific Guarantee rates to the loan portfolios.

** Maximum overall amount that can be contributed by the EU budget to cover losses on loan portfolios.

 

Of the SMEG beneficiaries surveyed on the occasion of the EIP final evaluation, 76% revealed positive prospects due to CIP financing. Almost 70% reported growth in annual turnover during the past three years, while 64 % indicated that EU support was crucial to finding the additional finance needed. Half of survey respondents pointed out that the EU financing scheme was the only option available. The same number of beneficiaries indicated that it was easier to get additional finance once they had obtained guarantees from EIP. Finally, half of the enterprises reported that, due to the CIP financing, jobs were created or saved in 2010.

Further information on CIP and related reports.

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