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EIF and the EC launch a Digitalisation Pilot for SMEs under the COSME Loan Guarantee Facility

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    Date: 24 October 2019

The European Commission and EIF have launched today the Digitalisation Pilot under the COSME Loan Guarantee Facility. Today’s initiative allows the EIF to provide support under the programme specifically for the purpose of digital transformation of SMEs.

While digitalisation is recognised to be a key driver of competitiveness, limited access to finance is one of the elements that negatively affects the possibility for SMEs to digitalise. By enhancing access to finance to SMEs for their digital transformation, all sectors of the economy - including traditional sectors will benefit from this new Pilot.

The inclusion of the Digitalisation Pilot under the EU flagship programme COSME will provide deployment through a programme which is already successfully delivered to the market, and will offer targeted support to digitalisation via financial intermediaries both new to COSME or already participating in the programme. The financing will be available to all SMEs, regardless of their current level of digitalisation.

The Digitalisation Pilot under the COSME Loan Guarantee Facility will contribute to strengthening even further the impact of the COSME Loan Guarantee Facility in providing access to finance to SMEs. As of today, it is estimated more than more than 500,000 SMEs have benefitted of the EU support under this programme, which is currently covering 33 countries, supporting approx. 2.5 million jobs and expected to mobilise investment for approx. EUR 68.0bn

This initiative counts on the support of the European Fund of Strategic Investment (EFSI) and is also part of the Digital Single Market strategy, which aims at opening up digital opportunities for people and business and enhance Europe’s position as a world leader in the digital economy.

Background information

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank Group. Its central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment.

COSME is the EU programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) running from 2014 to 2020 with a total budget of EUR 2.3 billion, including the support provided by the European Fund of Strategic Investments.

 

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