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Report laments insufficient financing for SMEs

Assistance for innovative small and medium-sized enterprises in Horizon 2020 would already be exhausted without the European Fund for Strategic Investments (Efsi), a report has warned.

A mid-term evaluation of Horizon 2020’s InnovFin assistance, which guarantees loans given to SMEs for high-risk innovation activities, has found that the scheme’s financial resources are not large enough. Following high take-up among SMEs, InnovFin depended on extra money from Efsi, the report said.

The evaluation also identified the concern of banks that the size of the loans guaranteed under InnovFin, pegged at between €25,000 and €7.5 million, was too high, resulting in large losses if risky enterprises failed. The definition of an innovative enterprise was also not easily understood. 

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