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Innovative firms bringing new products and services to the markets are essential for European growth and employment. To grow, such firms need equity finance, in particular at the early stages of their development. Over the years, the Commission and the Member States have repeatedly expressed their commitment to the development of venture capital markets as one of the drivers of a more competitive and more entrepreneurial Europe and have addressed the problems of growth financing through their actions.
Since the early 1990s, policy recommendations at global, European and national level have urged coherent approach to improving SMEs� access to finance, in particular equity finance. For its part, the Community Lisbon Programme emphasised that in order to attract more investment, generate employment and accelerate growth, it is important to facilitate market entry within sectors and between Member States. The plan noted that full integration of financial markets will contribute to raising output and employment by allowing more efficient allocation of capital and creating better conditions for business finance.
In addition, the integrated guidelines for growth and jobs require the Union and the Member States to extend and deepen the internal market and to promote a more entrepreneurial culture and create a supportive environment for SMEs. Finally, the proposal for the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (2007-2013) provides for direct action in SME finance to increase Europe�s competitiveness.

Additional information

Authors: No author stated, European Commission, DG Enterprise and industry Brussels (BE)
Bibliographic Reference: Luxembourg, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2005. 78 pp, free of charge
Availability: The document can be downloaded from:
Record Number: 200618622 / Last updated on: 2006-07-20
Original language: en
Available languages: en