SME Instrument report reveals the ins and outs of the EU’s business acceleration program. The2018 edition of the SME Instrument report reveals the ins and outs of Europe’s most selective innovation funding programme for small and midsized businesses and presents its success stories.
Since its start in 2014, the SME Instrument has invested €1.3 billion in a unique selection of 3200 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to get their breakthrough innovations faster on the market. With a network of 750 international business coaches and a growing community of global business and finance partners from the corporate and VC world, the SME Instrument is giving business support and coaching to get companies ready to scale up and go global.
In 2017 SME Instrument-funded companies accounted for 10% of all tech IPOs in Europe and the follow-up equity investments into companies funded by the SME Instrument doubled within one year only. Each €1 invested by the SME Instrument generated €1.6 of private investment. Companies funded under Phase 2 of the programme have benefitted from a 118% increase in turnover and a 158% increase in employment two years down the line.
Companies funded under the SME Instrument can participate in dedicated matching events with selected world-leading companies, corporates and procurers, as a distributor, client or supplier. They can also benefit from access to top European trade fairs and conferences. The Business Acceleration Services also include liaison to venture-capital programs, invitations to exclusive investor gatherings and other opportunities to explore new ways of tapping into financing, distribution and marketing channels.
About the EIC SME Instrument
The SME Instrument is part of the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot that supports top-class innovators, entrepreneurs, small companies and scientists with funding opportunities and acceleration services. The main focus of the EIC pilot is on radical, market-creating innovations to improve productivity and international competitiveness and generate new jobs and higher standards of living.
Support to small companies under the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot goes far beyond a grant provision. The EIC offers several business acceleration services that help speed up the pace of SMEs innovation. The intervention logic is to offer “smart money” – an equity-free grant and support services to help companies make the most of it.
The Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) has been set-up by the European Commission to manage on its behalf several EU programmes in the fields of energy, environment, support to SMEs and maritime affairs.