The overall objective of CIP is to improve access to finance for the start-up and growth of SMEs and to invest in innovation activities, including eco-innovation. The European Investement Fund provides its financial intermediaries with capped guarantees, partially covering portfolios of financing to SMEs. These are known as EU Guarantees, provided under the SME Guarantee Facility (SMEG).
SMEG provides loan guarantees to encourage banks to make more debt finance available to SMEs, including microcredit and mezzanine finance, by reducing the banks' exposure to risk. SMEG provides co-, counter- and direct guarantees to financial intermediaries providing SMEs with loans, mezzanine finance and equity.Four "windows" give access to funding for:
SMEs wishing to apply for guaranteed financing should contact one of the financial intermediaries that have signed an agreement with the EIF. Details can be found on the Access to Finance website.
How to apply as a Financial Intermediary
If you are eligibile to apply, you will need to fill the relevant application documents available for download at bottom of the How to apply page. Please note that the processing time of an application under CIP SMEG generally takes a minimum of three months. Under the rules of the programme, new commitments have to be approved by the EIF and by the European Commission (the final step in the approval process) by 31/12/2013; therefore, it may not be possible to process your application in time anymore before the end of the programming period 2007-2013. Currently, we are working intensively on a CIP SMEG successor programme which should be available in early 2014. We thank you in advance for your understanding.