Is the SME Instrument unleashing innovation capacity in companies?

  1. Innovation concept with financial elements hand drawn on blackboard

Recently, we have delved into the European Commission’s report on “Accelerating Innovation in Europe” in order to get valuable insights about the SME Instrument. Last week, we presented if and to what extent the SME Instrument help leverage private investments. The short answer is YES (have a look here on the main conclusions).

This week we think it would be useful for all entrepreneurs who are thinking of applying to the SME Instrument if the latter stimulates innovation in their own companies.

The SMEs were asked to rate on a scale from 1 to 10 (1=no progress; 10 = most progresses) a number of these potential structural effects:

  • better understanding of clients’ needs;
  • better knowledge about competitors;
  • better understanding of IPR issues;
  • better understanding of technical issues;
  • better internal work organisation;
  • better knowledge about marketing methods;
  • more strategic approach in change management;
  • more strategic approach for identifying risks and risk management;
  • increased reputation/visibility of the company; OR
  • better relation with local business support organisations.

The overall results are very encouraging: all the areas were rated between 7 and 9 points (median), which means that SMEs have made important progress in all of the listed areas. This allows us to assume that overall, the funding and coaching have a positive effect on SMEs in the pursuit of their project and their development as innovative companies. The top rated reply is “Better understanding of clients’ needs” with median 9, followed by “Better knowledge about marketing methods“, “Increased reputation/visibility of the company“, “More strategic approach for identifying risks and risk management”, “Better understanding of technical issues” and “Better knowledge about competitors”, all answers with a median score of 8.

We hope we have encouraged you to further explore the possibility of applying to the SME Instrument. In the past 2 years, more than 2000 startups have been funded through the SME Instrument. The results show clearly that being funded from the SME Instrument has a net positive effect on your startup. Contact us if you have any questions related to your application. If you’re not sure if you’re eligible, check out our free eligibility check tool from EU Startup Services.

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