A new fi-compass case study shows how a financial instrument from the Eastern Netherlands has used European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) assistance to support innovation investments by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This 'Innovation Fund East Netherlands' was designed to help improve access to finance for the region's most promising entrepreneurs during the global economic crisis.
The fund manager, Participatiemaatschappij Oost (PPM Oost), provided equity and loans for investments that many banks, venture capitalists, and business angels considered to be too high risk. PPM Oost also offered networking, training, and coaching opportunities. Results led to 33 SMEs investing EUR 25.7 million which created 325 new jobs.
Solmates was one of the high-tech firms that benefitted from this Dutch financial instrument. Their CEO, Arjen Janssens, is appreciative of the ERDF investment saying: "The Fund offered us fixed interest rates comparable to those on offer from banks that had denied us financing. The ecosystem around the Fund has also helped us to grow. Overall, it has improved our market position and access to other funding sources.”
More information about the East Netherlands’ experience of supporting the rapid development of innovative enterprises with an ERDF financial instrument is presented in the fi-compass case study. You can download and share the case study document from our website's publications library.