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ESC Opinion on financial assistance to innovative SMEs

On 26 March 1998, the Economic and Social Committee (ESC) of the European Communities unanimously adopted an opinion on the Commission's proposal for an initiative aimed at improving access to finance for innovative SMEs with the objective of stimulating job creation.

The Gro...
On 26 March 1998, the Economic and Social Committee (ESC) of the European Communities unanimously adopted an opinion on the Commission's proposal for an initiative aimed at improving access to finance for innovative SMEs with the objective of stimulating job creation.

The Growth and Employment initiative, which comprises three complementary programmes - a risk capital scheme, support for cross border ventures and a loan guarantee scheme - was welcomed by the ESC.

According to the Committee, these programmes must contribute to the financing of SMEs, especially where there are obvious deficiencies. It also wants these programmes to be widely known amongst the general public, be successful and become permanent initiatives. To do this, they must contribute significantly to the creation of jobs.

The Committee also underlines the need to use innovative financial instruments to distribute credit risks as widely as possible, in order to ensure that funds are more accessible and interest rates lower.

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