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Escaping the money trap: New ideas for financing SMEs


Improving access to finance for SMEs, and more specifically initial investment and the ongoing injection of equity, is essential if an SME is to tap into its growth and innovation potential. However, a large number of SMEs in the EU face an equity gap; when their initial funds have been exhausted, entrepreneurs have to obtain external finance to develop their project.

Financing SMEs is often considered too risky on account of the low rates of return,particularly during the seed phase. There is thus a lack of business angels and venture capital funds that are willing to invest in young innovative SMEs.

Restoring SME health and growth has moved to the top of policy making agendas in Europe. Under Horizon 2020, the EU is making about €2 billion a year available for SME support. In November, the EC announced a €315 billion investment programme – with a large slice targeted to SMEs.

This Science|Business conference will discuss the best ways to boost SME financing.

Programme

13:30     Registration 

14:00     Welcome and introduction by Richard L. Hudson, CEO & Editor, Science|Business

14:05     The Problem: Why is it so difficult for SMEs to get financed in Europe? 

  • Kristin Schreiber, Director of COSME Program and SME Policy, DG GROW, European Commission
  • Kay Swinburne, Member of the European Parliament
  • Paul Rübig, Member of the European Parliament
  • Raymond J. Hegarty, Managing Director, Intellectual Ventures

14:45     Idea 1: IP as a lever to finance SMEs

Presentation of Science|Business Special Report: Picking up where the banks left off: Can IP help small companies grow, and Europe’s economy revive?

  • Tim Kievits, Director of Healthcare Innovation, Vitromics
  • Raymond J. Hegarty, Managing Director, Intellectual Ventures
  • Ross Melzer, Director, Science|Business

15:15     Idea 2: Government measures to encourage angel and VC investment

Presentation of Aalto University study: High growth entrepreneurship policy: The Impact of policy initiatives to help SMEs gain funding

  • Hannu Seristö, Vice President, Aalto University
  • Heikki Rannikko, Researcher, Aalto University

15:45     Coffee break 

16:00    Idea 3: The Juncker Plan: Can it make the difference for European SMEs? 

  • Monica Dietl, Director, The COST Association
  • Jean-David Malo, Head of Unit for SMEs, Financial Instruments and State Aid, DG RTD, European Commission
  • Keith Sequeira, Member of Cabinet of Commissioner Carlos Moedas, European Commission
  • Kay Swinburne, Member of the European Parliament

17:00     Cocktail Reception

Contact

For more information please contact Shane McCollam at shane.mccollam@sciencebusiness.net

Speakers
Speakers
Sergio Bertolucci
Director of Research and Scientific Computing, CERN
Monica Dietl
Director, The COST Association
Raymond J. Hegarty
Managing Director, Intellectual Ventures
Tim Kievits
Director of Healthcare Innovation, Vitromics
Jean-David Malo
Head of Unit for SMEs, Financial Instruments and State Aid, DG RTD, European Commission
Heikki Rannikko
Researcher, Aalto University
Paul Rubig
Member, European Parliament
Kristin Schreiber
Director of COSME Program and SME Policy, DG Grow, European Commission
Keith Sequeira
Member of Cabinet of Commissioner Carlos Moedas, European Commission
Hannu Seristo
Vice President of External Relations, Aalto University
Bernd Stephan
Senior Vice President, Group Technology Developement, SKF
Kay Swinburne
Member, European Parliament
Event pack
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