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Aid for innovative SMEs

Notwithstanding the special treatment usually given to SMEs in the context of the public financing programs or initiatives examined in other sections of this chapter, the following is a list, to be taken as an example, of some lines specifically targeted at this type of entity when developing innovative activities. In particular, it is worth mentioning two programs promoted by the National Innovation Enterprise (Empresa Nacional de Innovación or ENISA), which provides financing to SMEs through various lines targeted at the formation of enterprises, the corporate growth and the consolidation of enterprises.

As an example, we indicate below the main characteristics of some of the lines of financing currently granted by ENISA, although the availability of funds and the conditions, on the terms set for 2018, will depend on the State budgetary situation during 2018 (as of the date on which the Chapter was prepared, the General State Budgets Law for 2018 had not yet been approved).

—  ENISA Young entrepreneurs: aimed at stimulating the formation of enterprises backed by young entrepreneurs (not older than 40 years of age), to which is provided access to preferred financing with the sole guarantee of their business project.

Potential beneficiaries are SMEs (I) which pursue their activity, have their registered office and make the investment in Spain; (II) which are incorporated as a corporate enterprise or, if already incorporated, whose incorporation took place not more than 24 months prior to the submission of the application; (III) whose business model is innovative or has obvious competitive advantages; (IV) which evidence the technical/economic viability of the project; (V) whose financial statements for the last year ended were filed with the Commercial Registry; (VI) the majority of whose capital is subscribed by young entrepreneurs (aged under 40); and (VII) which are active in any area of activity other than real estate and finance, and minimum contributions are required from shareholders (of at least 50%), in the form of capital, depending on the amount of the loan.

Eligible investments are those required by the business project in the initial phase and, specifically, the acquisition of the fixed and current assets required for the activity.

Aid will take the form of a participating loan of not less than €25,000 and not more than €75,000, with an applicable interest rate equal to EURIBOR plus 3.25% in the first tranche and, in the second tranche up to 4.5%, depending on the financial return of the enterprise, maturing after a maximum of 7 years and with a grace period of not more than 5 years for the repayment of principal.

—  ENISA Entrepreneurs: aimed at providing financial support to recently formed SMEs, promoted by entrepreneurs of any age, so that they are able to make the investments necessary for carrying out their business project.

Potential beneficiaries are SMEs (I) which pursue their activity and have their registered office in Spain; (II) which are incorporated as a corporate enterprise not more than 24 months before the application is filed; (III) whose business model is innovative or has competitive advantages; (IV) whose shareholders’ contributions are equal to at least the amount of the loan; (V) who evidence the technical/economical viability of the project; (VI) whose financial statements for the last year ended were filed with the Commercial Registry, which have a balanced financial structure and management of a professional nature; (VII) which have co-financing for the financial needs associated with the business project; and (VIII) which are active in any area of activity other than real estate and finance.

This aid will take the form of a participating loan of not less than €25,000 and not more than €300,000, at an applicable fixed interest rate equal to EURIBOR plus 2.5% in the first tranche and, in the second tranche, up to a 8%, maturing after a maximum of 7 years and with a grace period of not more than 5 years for the repayment of principal.

—  ENISA Growth: aimed at financing projects promoted by SMEs which envisage competitive improvements, at consolidation, growth and internationalization projects or corporate transactions, based on viable and profitable business models, focused on (I) the competitive improvement of production systems and/or a change in production model; or (II) expansion through an increase in production capacity, technological advances, an increase in the range of products/services, diversification of markets; seeking out capitalization and/or debt on regulated markets, and the financing of business projects through corporate transactions.

Essentially, the same requirements imposed on the preceding line must also be met in this case. The participating loans granted under this line will range between €25,000 and €1,500,000, repayable in a maximum of 9 years, with a grace period of not more than 7 years for the repayment of the principal, at an interest rate equal to Euribor + 3.75%, in the first tranche, and up to a 8% for the second tranche.