Access 4 SMEs is a European Program funded by Horizon 2020. It gathers a network of National Contact Points for SMEs. This network helps SMEs:
- to have access to finance opportunities
- to develop tools to assist SMEs with expertise on growth strategy and value proposition
-to identify the success factors for SMEs.
In France, BPI France is the National Contact Point. It is the institution in charge of helping SMEs in their growth (by providing funding, expertise, taking stake in the capital, ..).
Specifically, BPI France supports innovation, through 3 tools: Innovation Financing, Innovation Investing and Innovation Fund of Funds. Therefore BPI accompanies SME's while they take risk by backing their investments.
Since 2013, BPI collaborates with the EIF on InnovFin Agreements. In 2017, BPI agreed to take a minority stakes alongside EIF in capital investment funding. There are two funds which are operated by EIF/ BPI:
- the Innovation loan (1040m€ guaranteed to 50% by EIF for launching innovation)
- the Seed Investment Loan (400m€ guaranteed to 40% by the EIF for reinforcing young enterprises)