The missing pieces of the SME financing story

Published in 
CEPS - Centre for European Policy Studies 1 Place du Congrès / Congresplein 1000 Brussels

CONFERENCE PROGRAMME [click here for pdf version]

10.30-11.00 Introductory Presentation by ECMI

11.00-12.30 Session 1. The role of public policies for SME financing

This panel will set the framework of the debate on SME financing and public intervention. Each national government and the EU have considered the use of public resources to improve SME financing, mainly through bank financing. The panel will discuss whether these resources are likely to alleviate SME difficulties. Departing from the very sensitive political debate around this issue, the panel will highlight where are the market failures preventing SMEs to growth at a faster pace and get an appropriate size of finance. With in mind the objective of promotion of growth and innovation, the panel will address which are the firms that are more in need of support and the effectiveness of main policies enacted so far to address these issues.

Key questions to be discussed by the panel:
-    What do we mean by SMEs?
-    Does SME financing require public support, and why? And are resources put forward so far enough?
-    What kinds of market failures are preventing an optimal financing for European SMEs?
-    What are criteria, beyond size, to assess the effectiveness of a policy tool?


  • Thorsten Beck, Professor of Economics, Tilburg University, Netherlands and Professor of Banking and Finance, Cass Business School, London
  • Lennart Grundberg, Policy Officer - Industrial Policy, DG Enterprise, European Commission
  • Patrice Liauzu, Adviser - Institutional Strategy, European Investment Bank
  • Margarita Tchouvakhina, Vice President for Economic Research, KfW Bank
  • Gerhard Huemer, Director Economic Policy, European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (UEAPME)

13.30-15.00 Session 2. Exploring the effectiveness of market-based solutions

There is no silver-bullet to solve SME financing difficulties. The complexity of the issue calls for many different factors to play a different role. Bureaucracy, taxation, macroeconomic factors, and country risk are only some of the variables influencing the ability of SMEs to access finance. Diversification in funding sources for SMEs, therefore, becomes a crucial factor of success. This panel will explore what capital markets are offering to entrepreneurs and how their role can be potentially improved in providing financing alternatives to the traditional bank-loan channel.

Key questions to be discussed by the panel:

  • What are capital markets offering now to SMEs and what is the effectiveness of these actions to ensure greater access to finance for SMEs?
  • To what category of SMEs are these initiatives addressed to?
  • What kind of new financing tools can be developed (such as hybrid banking-capital markets tools) and how existing capital markets tools (equity and debt listing) can be further improved?
  • Are these alternative sources of funding sufficient to ensure that in the medium long-run markets will channel enough resources to SMEs? Is there space for public intervention? And where are market failures to be addressed to ensure a better capital markets financing?


  • Miguel de la Mano, Head of Unit, Analysis of Financial Market Issues, DG Internal Market and Services, European Commission
  • Francesco Papadia, Chairman, Prime Collateralised Securities
  • Luca Peyrano, Head of Italy & Continental Europe Primary Markets, London Stock Exchange Group
  • Cornelius Mueller, Head of Research, European Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (EVCA)
  • Rabah Ghezali, Managing Director of Government Affairs, NYSE Euronext
  • Diego Valiante,Head of Research of ECMI and Research Fellow at CEPS




  • Participation in ECMI-CEPS meetings is a benefit of ECMI and CEPS membership. ECMI and CEPS members register free of charge. EU and national officials, academics (including PhD students), NGOs (not representing a commercial interest) as well as press are also admitted free of charge.
  • Other participants may be admitted for €175 (21% VAT included, payable via online registration secure platform). If you have questions regarding membership or participation, please contact karin.lenk@ceps.eu before registering.


For more information please contact Karin Lenk at karin.lenk@ceps.eu or phone 0032 2 229 39 78.

Programme425.58 KB
Report289.25 KB
Diego Valiante and Federico Infelise1.06 MB
Thorsten Beck283.37 KB
Lennart Grundberg450.53 KB
Miguel de la Mano650.42 KB
Francesco Papadia688.05 KB
Luca Peyrano308.67 KB
Cornelius Mueller264.88 KB