COSME – Equity Facility for Growth

COSME is the EU programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises. One of the main objectives of COSME is to provide access to finance to SMEs in different phases of their lifecycle: creation, expansion or business transfer.

COSME’s Equity Facility for Growth (COSME-EFG) programme is a financial instrument that provides risk capital to equity funds investing in SMEs that are mainly in the expansion and growth-stage. Through COSME-EFG, the European Investment Fund (EIF) invests in selected funds to support SMEs, in particular those operating across borders. In order to ensure that the investments are focused on SMEs with the highest growth potential, the fund managers operate commercially.

COSME also has a guarantee facility: COSME – Loan Guarantee Facility.

Post 2020 – InvestEU Programme & SMP

The new InvestEU Programme, implemented in the course of 2021-2027, will bring together multitude of EU financial instruments. By bringing together the different financing programmes under one roof, project promoters can benefit from simple and streamlined investment and advisory support.

It is foreseen that the objectives of the COSME programme will be captured in two new programmes. The financial instruments of COSME will be incorporated in the InvestEU Programme, including COSME’s Equity Facility for Growth. The non-financial activities of the COSME programme will become part of the Single Market Programme (SMP), focusing mainly on improving SME’s access to the EU market.

What is the relevance for Circular City initiatives?

Scale-ups and other SMEs play a very important role in the transition to a circular economy in cities. Besides the fact that most of them are located in urban areas, they often develop promising new technologies and business models necessary to enable the circular transition. However, due to limited financial resources and high-risk profiles, SMEs usually have difficulties to obtain funding and financing to market their products and expand their business properly. By providing equity investments, COSME-EFG increases the chances that those businesses can successfully implement and diffuse their products or services.

As a city government, you help fund managers and SMEs by pointing them to the opportunity of the COSME-EFG.

How to apply?

For fund management companies:

Applications for managing funds under COSME EFG are currently closed. Have a look at the Single EU Equity Financial Instruments external link icon page to stay up-to-date on news regarding new applications.

For SMEs:

Are you an SME looking for equity finance? You can search for financial intermediaries under COSME EFG, who can support you with financing on this list external link icon.