Public-private partnerships for financing innovative SMEs

Small and medium sized-enterprises (SMEs) are vital to the economic and social well being of Europe. They provide jobs, products and services in every corner of the EU. They act as an impetus to innovation in society through the boundary pushing work of entrepreneurs and high-technology start-ups. However, innovative SMEs often face difficulties in raising needed capital, especially in their early-stages.

This prospective paper examines the forms that ‘public-private partnerships’ (PPP) can take to help close thisfinancing gap in the context of the Lisbon Strategy for growth, innovation and competitiveness. After a critical review of the policy terminology employed, financial vehicles such as public venture capital, loan guarantees and grants are discussed with a view to developing novel approaches to financing innovative SMEs at the EU level. Concluding policy recommendations include creating a complementary risk-sharing finance facility (RSFF) for Innovation; bolstering support for investment readiness programmes; and creating an EU wide fund-of-funds for innovation.


From , published on 18-12-2009
Original document: PPPs for financing SMEs_GRIPS_final.pdf - PDF document - 326 Kb


  • Led by Dr. John Rigby (MIoIR, University of Manchester)


  • Innovation research
  • Public policy
  • Business strategy

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