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Call: Support to SME internationalisation

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.  

Support to SME internationalisation
Description of call
"Support to SME internationalisation"

Action 1: Co-operation with Member States actors and agencies active in SME internationalisation on common projects in the field of trade promotion and missions for growth. This project is a follow-up of the one included in 2015 Work Programme and aims at strengthening the cooperation among national agencies and between these agencies and the European Commission. Potential areas of cooperation include exchange of experience, training, seminars, and staff exchange schemes on issues of common concern: economic analysis, impact assessment, monitoring of participating enterprises. This cooperation will be implemented via a call for proposals open to public organisations active in SME internationalisation or to private entities doing it on their behalf.

This measure will support further the internationalisation of European SMEs, as mentioned in the 2014 Communication “For a European Industrial Renaissance”, through reinforcing the representation of the European Union in major international fairs.

Action 2: The project will support the setup of an EU pavilion and the organisation of events in the framework of the fair, including business-to-business meetings, information events, etc.. 8-10 fairs should be covered per year.

This project is based on the cooperation between the European Commission and the Member States actors and agencies active in SME internationalisation and will be implemented via a call for proposals open to public organisations active in SME internationalisation or to private entities doing it on their behalf. It will capitalise on the experience, capacity and good practices available in the Member States offices which have a long record in implementing such measures.

Thematic Focus Education, Finances, Industry, SME, Technologies, Tourism, Administration
Funding area EFTA countries
EU Member States
EEA Countries
Candidate Countries
Eastern Partnership
Potential Candidate Countries
Select 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), National Government, Association
Project Partner Yes
Recurring Call No
Type of Funding Grant
Financial details

max. 75 %
Total call budget: 1 000 000 €, at least 7 joint projects will be selected.

Contact Details

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

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