COSME is the EU Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). It builds upon the successes of the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP). COSME is set to run from 2014 until 2020.
COSME aims at strengthening the competitiveness and sustainability of the Union’s enterprises, particularly SMEs and encouraging entrepreneurial culture and promoting the creation and growth of SMEs.
- to improve access to finance for SMEs in the form of equity and debt;
- to improve access to markets, particularly inside the Union but also at global level;
- to improve framework conditions for the competitiveness and sustainability of Union enterprises, particularly SMEs, including in the tourism sector;
- to promote entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial culture;
COSME provides enhanced access to finance for SMEs in their start-up, growth and transfer phases through two financial instruments:
- a loan guarantee facility (LGF) i.e. counter-guarantees and other risk sharing arrangements for guarantee schemes, an Equity Facility for Growth (EFG) to enhance the supply of risk capital.
- COSME provides support to European enterprises and, in particular, to SMEs to benefit from the Single Market by establishing business links outside their own country and as well to export outside Europe. An important tool to support SMEs locally is the Enterprise Europe Network with more than 600 offices in the EU and beyond.
- COSME funds concrete actions aiming at reducing administrative burden, supporting smart and SME-friendly regulation, strengthening coordination of Member States’ industrial policies and reinforcing the use of the 'Think Small First' principle. COSME promotes resource efficiency, sustainability and corporate social responsibility. It includes actions to improve the competitiveness of strategic sectors, including, among others, tourism.
- Supporting the implementation of the Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan, COSME proposes actions to create a more entrepreneurial Europe through entrepreneurship education and training, mobility exchanges, mentoring, and development of materials and support services for new and potential entrepreneurs, including young, women and senior entrepreneurs. A special focus will be given to digital entrepreneurship and eskills to help businesses reap the benefits of the Digital Single Market that is crucial for their competitiveness. Also, the European mobility programme Erasmus for Entrepreneurs helps new entrepreneurs acquire and build entrepreneurial skills and knowledge and to further develop their business activity by learning from experienced entrepreneurs.
Total EU budget
The financial envelope for the period 2014-2020 is EUR 2.3 billion.
The Regulation establishing the COSME Programme was incorporated into the EEA Agreement on 27 June 2014, foreseeing participation from Iceland.