Irish SMEs benefit from new EU SME fund
26th September 2014 | News
A growing number of Irish SMEs are securing new levels of investment from a new European Union (EU) SME fund, with a fifth of applicants offered up to €50,000.
Ireland boasts the greatest success rate of all EU countries in obtaining the European Commission’s €3 billion investment in SMEs, followed by Austria (14 per cent), the UK (11 per cent) and Spain (nine per cent).
The fund is all part of the EU’s sizeable €80 billion Horizon 2020 strategy, designed to spread investment across 155 small businesses in 21 nations, each receiving an initial €50,000 to allow innovative new businesses to put their best foot forward.
Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, said: "Innovative SMEs will help get the European economy back on track, creating lasting employment and great products and services.
"This new instrument is aimed at projects that are truly innovative, with a strong business opportunity and a solid concept to bring them to the market.
"The response to the new SME Instrument is encouraging. There is clearly a demand out there for this kind of support.
"I hope many of the business plans being financed will mature to become real products and services, generating growth and jobs for our economies."
The figures come after more good news for small firms this week, as a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) revealed that more than half of Irish SMEs feel their businesses are in a better position now than they were before the global recession.
The study also found that 85 per cent of small business owners anticipated increased growth while 82 per cent remain optimistic about their prospects for the next 12 months and 73 per cent forecast increased profits.