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Call: Projects supporting business transfers to employees creating a cooperative in order to ensure the sustainability of SMEs

Acronym COSME
Type of Fund Action programme
Description of programme

COSME is the EU programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) running from 2014 to 2020 with a planned budget of 2.3 bn. €.

Accessing finance

COSME aims to make it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access finance in all phases of their lifecycle – creation, expansion, or business transfer. Thanks to EU support, businesses have easier access to guarantees, loans and equity capital. EU ‘financial instruments’ are channelled through local financial institutions in EU countries. To find a financial institution in your country, visit the Access to Finance portal.

Opening markets

COSME helps businesses to access markets in the EU and beyond. It funds the Enterprise Europe Network that helps SMEs find business and technology partners, and understand EU legislation; the Your Europe Business portal that provides practical information on doing business within Europe; and the SME Internationalisation Portal for companies who want to develop their activities outside Europe. It also finances a number of IPR (intellectual property rights) SME Helpdesks.

Supporting entrepreneurs

COSME supports entrepreneurs by strengthening entrepreneurship education, mentoring, guidance and other support services. Actions support specific groups who may find it difficult to reach their full potential, such as young people, women and senior entrepreneurs. The programme also aims to help businesses access opportunities offered by digital technologies.

Improving business conditions

COSME aims to reduce the administrative and regulatory burden on SMEs by creating a business-friendly environment. COSME also supports businesses to be competitive by encouraging them to adopt new business models and innovative practices. This complements actions in areas with high growth potential such as the tourism sector.  

Link Link to Programme
Projects supporting business transfers to employees creating a cooperative in order to ensure the sustainability of SMEs
Description of call
"Projects supporting business transfers to employees creating a cooperative in order to ensure the sustainability of SMEs"

The main objective of this call for expressions of interest is to improve the environment for transferring businesses to employees or workers organised in cooperative form and to raise awareness about the benefits of a cooperative model in Europe. 


Projects to be supported under this call shall include the following categories of action:


  • identification and assessment of the existing legislative, regulatory and administrative practices and support schemes that are related to cooperatives and/or are applied in the process of transferring businesses to employees/workers;
  • development of a common methodology that could be used across Europe to produce comparable information on transfers of businesses to employees/workers organised into a cooperative;
  • development of trans-European methods, training modules, practices and tools for advisors in business transfers on issues related to transfers to employees/workers and to the cooperative model so that advisors are equipped with the necessary expertise and knowledge to provide a comprehensive and cooperative-specific support during the whole transfer process;
  • organisation of cross-border dedicated trainings, workshops or seminars for business transfer advisors to test new methods, training modules, practices and tools, including ways of assessing their efficiency and adaptability;
  • promoting the option of transfers to employees/workers among entrepreneurs, employees and workers themselves, business associations, trade unions, financial institutions, credit groups and investment banks, trade associations, business support providers and public authorities;
  • ensuring a proper transfer of knowledge and expertise on transferring a business to employees/workers and the cooperative model between the administrations of EU countries with a long cooperative tradition and those where the cooperative model is not sufficiently well known and recognised.
Link Link to Call
Thematic Focus Innovation, SME, Competitiveness
Funding area EU Member States
Origin of Applicant EU Member States
Albania / Shqipëria
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia / поранешна југословенска Република Македонија
Iceland / Ísland
Montenegro / Crna Gora/Црна Гора
Serbia / Сpбија
Turkey / Türkiye
Ukraine / Україна Oukraïna
Eligible applicants Education and Training Centres, Federal State / Region / City / Municipality / Local Authority, Research Institution, , Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs (between 10 and 249 employees), , Microenterprises (fewer than 10 employees), NGO / NPO, Other, Start Up Company, University, Public Services
Project Partner Yes
Project Partner Details

at least 3 entities from at leats 3 different Member States.

Recurring Call Yes
Project starts 01.12.2015
Project duration max 18 months
Contact Details

The Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) manages COSME on behalf of the European Commission.

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