SME Financing in Europe
Date: 10/10/2017 - 10/10/2017
Location: Brussels, Belgium


Small and medium-sized enterprises contribute significantly to the European economy and are often called its backbone. SMEs play a major role in jobs creation and they generate a substantial added value to the economy. Despite their success and growth there are many challenges that SMEs face in today's fast-paced and ever-changing business world. Access to funding is often cited as one of the most frequent business barriers owners of SMEs encounter.

The workshop to be held on 10 October at the ESBG office in Brussels will focus on the SME financing in Europe topic.

Karl-Peter Schackmann-Fallis, Executive Member of the Board, German Savings Banks Association (DSGV) will open the event with a welcome address, followed by two impulse presentations and two panels. During the sessions of the event participants will have a chance to discuss and have insights on the topics of SME financing, innovation and employment growth.

Following the keynotes from Jörn Block (University of Trier & Erasmus University Rotterdam) and Helmut Krämer-Eis (European Investment Fund), the first panel will discuss the state of SME financing in Europe. It will consider the long-term impacts of the Euro crisis and will shed light on differences in SME financing across Europe. A particular focus will be given to bank financing and the role of regional banks in the European small business ecosystem. The panel will also discuss how a harmonized European capital market union can stimulate but also endanger SME financing in Europe.

The panel participants are Niall Bohan (European Commission), Kris Boschmans (OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Local Development and Tourism), Annalisa Ferrando (European Investment Bank & European Central Bank), Gerhard Huemer (UEAPME, European Association of Craft and SMEs),  José Maria Millán Tapia (Universidad de Huelva), Alexandra Moritz (Trier University)​.

Following the keynote from Thomas Hellmann (Oxford University), the second panel will discuss how entrepreneurial finance in its various forms stimulates innovation in Europe. The panel will cover financing instruments such as venture capital funds, crowdfunding and business angel financing. It will discuss the needs of these specific financing instruments and the added value they provide to young innovative start-ups in Europe. Furthermore, the panel will shed light on the differences in innova​tion finance across Europe and will compare the European venture capital landscape to Asia and the US.

The panel participants are Marcus Dejardin (University of Namur & Université Catholique de Louvain), Nadine Levratto (University of Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense), Sophie Manigart (Vlerick Business School & Ghent University), Silvio Vismara (University of Bergamo).

Journalist Rebecca Christie who has written for Bloomberg news, Dow Jones Newswires, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times and other newspapers, will moderate both panels.

The event is scheduled to take place from 10:30 to 15:00 and it will be a good opportunity for participants and ESBG members to discuss and share knowledge on the important aspects of SME funding.  

We look forward to seeing you at this event! ​