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A Practical Approach to the Market Analysis Part of SME-Related Ex-Ante Assessments


Helmut Kraemer-Eis, Frank Lang

For the support of financial instruments in the 2014-2020 programming period ex-ante assessments have effectively become a mandatory prerequisite, and the main elements required are given by the Common Provisions Regulation (CPR). Guidance to managing authorities (MAs) is available through the ex-ante assessment methodology published by the European Commission. Since 2013, the European Investment Fund (EIF) has performed small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) related ex-ante assessments and we have published, for the market analysis part, “Guidelines for SME Access to Finance Market Assessments (GAFMA)”. Both guidance documents provide a toolbox of good practices to managing authorities. In this article, we summarise the framework for ex-ante assessments and present the experiences that EIF has made so far in conducting ex-ante assessments, which can also be taken as helpful practical recommendations: It is useful to follow a standardised approach that is in line with good practice and has taken into consideration relevant legal requirements. If surveys are performed, the number of questions should be limited to those that are essential to obtain the information needed for the analysis. Whenever a financing gap is quantified, the assumptions, on which the estimations are based, should be made transparent and the results should be interpreted with the necessary care. In addition, different tools should be applied in parallel when performing a market assessment.

Dr. Helmut Kraemer-Eis, Head of Research & Market Analysis, European Investment Fund (EIF). Dr. Frank Lang, Senior Manager, Research & Market Analysis, EIF. This Article should not be referred to as representing the views of the EIF or of the European Investment Bank Group (EIB Group). Any views expressed herein, including interpretation(s) of regulations, reflect the current views of the author(s), which do not necessarily correspond to the views of EIF or of the EIB Group. Views expressed herein may differ from views set out in other documents, including similar research papers, published by EIF or by the EIB Group. Contents of this Article, including views expressed, are current at the date of drafting, and may change without notice. No representation or warranty, express or implied, is or will be made and no liability or responsibility is or will be accepted by EIF or by the EIB Group in respect of the accuracy or completeness of the information contained herein and any such liability is expressly disclaimed. Nothing in this Article constitutes investment, legal, or tax advice, nor shall be relied upon as such advice. Specific professional advice should always be sought separately before taking any action based on this Article.


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