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€2 billion fund for entrepreneurs and SMEs – Sean Kelly MEP

Published: Thu, 26 September 2013

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Sean Kelly MEP (South) has confirmed that €2.02 billion in EU funding will be made available specifically for entrepreneurs and SMEs from 2014-2020.

“Under the Programme for the Competitiveness of enterprises and SMEs (COSME), the European Parliament has agreed this significant €2.02 billion budget targeted towards Europe’s entrepreneurs and SMEs over the next seven years,” Mr Kelly said, while attending the Ploughing Championships in Co Laois today.

“Every time the private sector creates 100 new jobs, 80 of those are created by SMEs. It has been estimated that if every SME in Europe created just one extra job, we could solve our current unemployment crisis. So SME’s could be the engine that empowers Europe back to prosperity,” the Fine Gael MEP continued.

The funding will also support entrepreneurship and SME-related activities.

As a member of the Parliament’s Industry Committee, Mr Kelly backed adopted proposals to reserve a very large proportion of the funds for companies that face severe financial constraints due to the financial crisis and the reluctance of banks to provide capital to finance the growth and job-creation capabilities of SMEs.

Mr Kelly also welcomed measures to reduce red tape: “We aim to reduce the administrative and regulatory burden on SMEs and have highlighted the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme.

“Our goal is to make it easier for entrepreneurs to set up viable businesses and offer them support so SMEs can flourish.”

The Parliament and the Council having reached an agreement, the report on establishing the COSME will be voted by all MEPs in plenary at the end of October 2013. COSME should then start on 1 of January 2014.

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