European citizens are, in general, satisfied with the possibilities that the Single Market offers in terms of a bigger choice of products (74%), more jobs (52%) and fair competition (47%).
On the other hand, the Single Market is perceived as only benefiting big companies (62%), worsening working conditions (51%) and not benefiting poor and disadvantaged people (53%). 28% of those interviewed are considering working abroad in the future. These are some of the key results in the latest Eurobarometer survey on the Single Market. They also show that many Europeans are not aware of the Single Market and its benefits (35%).
Concern No. 17 is about businesses access to finance.
What can the EU do?
With regard to financing for regular business investments, EU funds are allocated to financial intermediaries to help SMEs find seed money, start up, expand and transfer their business, by using equity financing and guarantees. The operational management is performed by the European Investment Fund (EIF).
SMEs wishing to apply for an equity investment need to contact the funds that have signed an agreement with the EIF and, for guarantee financing, one of the financial intermediaries that have signed an agreement with EIF. Further details and lists of the EIF partners can be found in the Access to Finance website: http://www.access2finance.eu.
EU funds are also allocated to national and regional authorities via the Structural Funds. SMEs wishing to benefit from those should locate the relevant national/regional managing authorities for more information. For other sources of financing locally available, SMEs can refer to their closest Enterprise Europe Network branch.