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What is the CREA (Capital Risque pour les Enterprises d'Amorçage) programme?

Under the CREA programme, which now succeeds the European Seed Capital Fund Network (ESCFN), the Commission encourages seed-capital funds to finance businesses in the start up phase and SME business transfers.

CREA provides for a repayable loan for a maximum period of three years to cover up to 50% of the operating costs of the seed capital fund manager.

How can seed capital funds participate in the CREA programme?

The Commission has launched a call for proposals:

  • Interested parties must ask the Commission in writing to send them the "Grant application form" and the "General terms and conditions applicable to grant agreements of the European Communities", and must submit their proposals using the above mentioned form by 15 January 1999 or by 15 June 1999 at the latest (date as postmark). The call for proposals is managed by DG Enterprise, Enterprise Policy. For contact details see: list of Commission Services in charge of financial support schemes .

  • Applicants must be from a Member State of the European Economic Area (EEA). The services may be provided in the 11 countries applying to join the European Union.

  • The proposals submitted and selected must be put into practice within six months of approval

What are the selection criteria for seed capital funds?
  • Proposals must cover the creation of a seed capital fund;

  • Applicants must be legally constituted and registered;

  • Applicants must have the necessary legal, financial and moral standing to carry out the subsidised action successfully;

  • Applicants must have proven experience in financing young companies and in the evaluation of the overall risks presented by these companies;

  • The funds must be new (set up since 1 October 1997 or currently being set up) and must have a minimum capital of Euro 4 million, of which 25% is fully paid up at the time of signing a contract with the Commission, with a maximum of 50% being of public sector origin.

What are the award criteria for seed capital funds?
  • Quality of the project: reasoned description of modus operandi (in particular as regards budget, place of establishment and geographical area covered, relations with other seed capital funds, operating and co-ordination methods);

  • Absence of other financing by the European institutions of the same expenditure;

  • Management structure, in particular business support experience, technical expertise and links with technological institutions, chambers of commerce and similar bodies;

  • Cost effectiveness.

Which seed capital funds are excluded from this call for proposals?

Applicants who:

  • Are bankrupt or are being wound up, whose affairs are being administered by the court, who have entered into an arrangement with creditors, who have suspended business activities or who are in any analogous situation arising from a similar procedure under national laws and regulations;

  • Are the subject of proceedings for a declaration of bankruptcy, for an order for compulsory winding up or administration by the court or for an arrangement with creditors or of any other similar proceedings under national laws or regulations;

  • Have been convicted of an offence concerning their professional conduct by a judgement which has the force of res judicata;

  • Have been guilty of grave professional misconduct proven by any means which the contracting authorities can justify;

  • Have not fulfilled obligations relating to the payment of social sEurority contributions in accordance with the legal provisions of the country in which they are established or with those of the country of the contracting authority;

  • Have not fulfilled obligations relating to the payment of taxes in accordance with the legal provisions of the country of the contracting authority;

  • Are guilty of serious misrepresentation in supplying or failing to supply the information that may be required.

How can SMEs benefit from the CREA programme?

Interested SMEs should contact directly the selected seed capital funds. A list of Seed Capital Funds participating in the CREA programme will be kept up to date on this site or they can first seek guidance on innovation financing sources and how to prepare for them from the Gate2Growth Initiative .


Back to top Last Updated: 09-01-2002
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