The European Commission has introduced an information campaign aimed at facilitating access to equity markets for small and medium-sized enterprises. The EC believes that although the growth and innovation of European SMEs is the key to economic recovery, it has been revealed that SMEs are finding it increasingly difficult to access loans or venture capital.

As part of the EC’s continuing efforts to support SMEs, European Commission vice-president Antonio Tajani, who is responsible for enterprise and industry policy, has launched a single online portal on all EU financial instruments. The portal features an information guide to promote SME stock listings. This tool will provide advice to SMEs on the ways in which they could go public and to stimulate investors’ interest in SMEs and mid-caps.

The initiative aims to provide simple and easy access to over €100 billion in EU financing under the different EU programmes for the current programme period 2007-2013. Europe is providing a mix of flexible financial instruments under a number of programmes such as the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme, Progress Microfinance, Risk Sharing Instrument (FP7), European Investment Bank Loans and Structural Funds.

The campaign to facilitate access to finance for SMEs satisfies one of the key growth priorities of the Europe 2020 initiative.

For information visit http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/index_en.htm .

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