(2.3.1) Finance and Funds; Cyprus


CYPEF is a fund established by the Republic of Cyprus to support and strengthen entrepreneurship in the country by enhancing access to finance to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Amounts dedicated from the Cypriot government to CYPEF are made available through financing from the European Investment Bank (EIB). CYPEF is managed by the European Investment Fund (EIF).

CYPEF’s financial instruments will be deployed by local banks which will be selected by EIF following Calls for Expression of Interest (CEoI) and therefore act as EIF’s financial intermediaries. These financial intermediaries will make available CYPEF’s financial instruments to eligible SMEs at favourable terms, in the form of reduced interest rates and potentially reduced collateral requirements, extended loan maturities and grace periods.

The EUR 100 million of initial capital pulled together under CYPEF by the Cypriot Government will be matched by equal contributions from EIF’s selected financial intermediaries, translating into EUR 200 million of finance to the benefit of Cypriot SMEs. Additional amounts may become available at a later stage, subject to satisfactory market absorption of the CYPEF funds.


Youth Entrepreneurship Support Program

The Youth Organization of Cyprus actively supports the Youth Entrepreneurship Support Program, which is managed by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism (Industrial Development Service) as the project implementation body.
The Youth Entrepreneurship Support Plan is included in the Operational Program 2014-2020 “Competitiveness & Sustainable Development” and is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund of the EU. (EIF) and the Republic of Cyprus for the period 2014-2020.

The Program aims to develop, support and promote entrepreneurship for young people and young people through financial aids and training training seminars to create new and sustainable SMEs.

Particular emphasis is put on the use of new technologies, the use of innovative methods of production and promotion of products and services, the development of entrepreneurship in the field of the environment and generally the promotion of modern business activities aiming at creating dynamic, competitive and competitive enterprises.

Participants in the Program are young and young, who:

  • You have completed the 20th year of their age and have not passed the age of 39 on the date of filing the application.
  • Is NOT active, employed or free of charge.
  • Do not have a business activity for at least one year before the date of submission of the proposal.

ONEK under the program is responsible for the following:


ONEK organizes informative seminars in all cities and provides interested parties with free counseling services aiming at providing information on the Program and preparing the young people for submitting a business plan and the Application within the framework of the Program. Responsible Youth Officer is Mrs. Anna Loizou (tel .: 22402615, e-mail: [email protected]).

For more information, visit the website of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism.



Cyprus Business Angels

Cyprus Business Angels Network (CYBAN) is an angel investment network connecting the most innovative, fast growing companies in the country to smart equity finance. Being the only Angel Investment Network in Cyprus, we are uniquely positioned to match carefully selected start-ups with our experienced and influential angel investors.

Whether you are an existing investor, potential investor, or an entrepreneur looking for an investment to grow your business, find out how working with us can help you achieve success.

For Cyprus: http://www.cyban.com.cy/en/home

For EU: http://www.businessangelseurope.com/SitePages/default.aspx

(2.3.2) Finance and Funds; Greece

Impact Hub Athens

Impact Hub Athens is part of an International Network of social driven professionals and a variety of high impact creative professionals that are dedicated into prototyping the future of business. From social inclusion and social integration to environment and fair trade, the Impact Hub Athens is engaging expertise from its worldwide presence and creating a net of intercultural, high impact community that acts locally and internationally.

They design and facilitate a series of acceleration services offering access to resources, knowledge and talent to help all stages entrepreneurs to increase their positive impact and watch their business grow locally and internationally.



Social Entrepreneurship Supporting Network – SES Net, is an initiative lead by the Development Agency of Karditsa AN.KA. S.A. in collaboration with the bvba Helde, the Cooperative Bank of Karditsa and the Hellenic Agency for Local Development and Local Government (E.E.T.A.A.) supportedby theGreek Association of Cooperative Banks and Hellenic Ecological Recycling Society.

Its aim is the establishment of a social finance local partnership, starting from Karditsa (Thessaly, Greece), that would lead to a social finance instrument in order to fund social enterprises in Greece at an initial stage and if possible and depending on its success scaling it in other EU countries. That Social finance instrument would act as an attractor for additional social investments.

The value architecture of the Social Finance Partnership is to empower social and financial change through socially innovative finance tools and institutions.



Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs, has designed and implemented the Impact program, which has so far supported more than 102 social initiatives in Europe. Ashoka in Greece, using its international experience, tools and methods for the development of social enterprises, implemented the Impact program in 2016 in cooperation with Accenture and The People’s Trust in 2016 to strengthen the impact of selected social initiatives.

The second impact program takes place in 2017 and focuses on education. Accenture and The People’s Trust are the strategic partners of the program again, and our collaborators from Solidarity Mission and the Bodossakis Foundation are also contributing to this effort. The program is implemented with the support of ETHENEA Independent Investors S.A.


British Council

The British Council tries to become a key service provider to transfer UK approaches and experience to Greek social entrepreneurs, and co-organised related events.


«ΕΣΠΑ» Partnership Agreement (PA) 2014-2020

The PA (Partnership Agreement for the Development Framework) 2014-2020 constitutes the main strategic plan for growth in Greece with the contribution of significant resources originating from the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) of the European Union. The PA, through its implementation, seeks to tackle the structural weaknesses in Greece that contributed to the economic crisis, as well as other economic and social problems caused by it. Moreover, the PA 2014-2020 is called upon to help attain the national targets within the Europe 2020 Strategy.

The target of the Europe 2020 Strategy is to foster growth that is:

  • smart, with more efficient investments in education, research and innovation;
  • sustainable, because of the decisive shift to a low carbon economy, and
  • inclusive, focusing especially on job creation and poverty reduction.



Since 2009, Eurobank has proposed a new, outward-looking model for the development of the Greek economy. In this model, Innovative and Young Entrepreneurship is a lever for competitiveness.

This placement is supported by two actions:

  • The Innovation Research and Innovation Competition “Greece Innovates!”, Which it designed and implemented in cooperation with BSE (Business and Industry Association) and aims at bridging Applied Research and Innovation with Entrepreneurship.
  • The egg-enter-go-grow is a Eurobank Corporate Social Responsibility initiative, designed and implemented in collaboration with Corallia, to create a favorable environment for stimulating young innovative entrepreneurship and strengthening the prospect of sustainable employment of the country’s human resources.



The EU has several different funding programmes that you may be able to apply for, depending on the nature of your business or project. There are two different types: direct funding and indirect funding.

Direct funding
The allocation of direct funding capital is managed by the European Institutions. There are two types of funding available: grants and contracts.

Indirect funding
Indirect funding is managed by national and regional authorities and comprises nearly 80% of the EU budget, mainly through 5 big funds that come under the umbrella of the European Structural and Investment Funds.


Exchanges for new entrepreneurs

New entrepreneurs – how to qualify for the scheme
If you’ve just started a business or intend to soon, you could qualify for the Erasmus for young entrepreneurs’ exchange scheme.

The scheme allows you to spend some time in another EU country working and learning from an experienced entrepreneur. It is partly funded by the EU.

To qualify for the scheme, you must be able to demonstrate your motivation and firm intention to start a business. You will have to present a solid business idea, including a realistic business plan.


Access to EU Finance

This site will help you to apply for loans and venture capital supported by the European Union.

Select your country to search for financial opportunities.


(2.3.3) Finance and Funds; Portugal

The first Portuguese case study of finance and funds we would like to report is the one of CASES. This acronym stands for António Sérgio Cooperative for Social Economy.

CASES is the organisation responsible for the management of 8 national programs dedicated to fund Social Economy-related projects and activities, namely:


SOCIAL INVESTE it is a program designed to the support of Social Economy. It consists of a specific credit line which aims at to facilitate the access to financing by entities enrolled with the Social Economy sector.

This program aims to encourage the development of activities of social and solidarity nature by organisations affiliated to the Social Economy sector, thus reflecting the recognition that this sector is unquestionably one of the pillars of the country’s economic and social development.


SOU MAIS SOU MAIS is the name chosen for the Microcredit National Program, which is again under the management of CASES. This program facilitates the access to a credit line up to EUR 20.000, dedicated to the support to the creation and the expansion of projects which create sustainable working places.


COOP JOVEM it is a program to the support of cooperative entrepreneurship, aimed at supporting young people in the development of a business idea, therefore facilitating the creation of their own employment. These entrepreneurial initiatives shall contribute to the development of a culture of solidarity and cooperation.
COOP JOVEM measure is one of the measures pertaining to the National Plan for the Implementation of a Guarantee for Youth.


ES JOVEM ES JOVEM (stands for “you are young” but in this case means Social Economy for Youth) is a program aiming at to raise awareness about the social economy sector among young people, as well as divulging the opportunities embedded within this sector for job creation. It intends to promote the creation of new social economy projects and of organisations.

This program comprises several action lines, namely:

  1. Technical Support to the development of Social Economy-related initiatives;
  2. Thematic workshops / Raising awareness campaigns;
  3. Best Practices (study visits to relevant organisations already in operation);
  4. Social Economy Academy (1 week training for young people aged 18-35) and
  5. ESJOVEM Scholarships (technical and financial support to Social Economy initiatives and innovative projects.


Geração COOP This project was a direct result of the AIC-2012 initiative (AIC stands for Cooperatives International Year). It pursues to engage young people to Cooperativism and to promote and disseminate the cooperative form as an active model of building-up a better world. These premises were actually the starting point of this initiative, that strives to make better known the cooperative business model to young people.


FORMAES In order to respond to the needs of the training interventions that are being developed for the Portuguese Social Economy sector CASES has launched back in 2015 an initiative named Pool of Trainers for the Social Economy.

This initiative is part of the legal tasks entrusted to CASES, which includes “promoting and collaborating in the promotion of training in the Social Economy sector, in particular by strengthening the qualification of professionals and the sustainability of organisations in the sector”, as well as to “promote the recognition and institutional capacity of organisations of the Social Economy”.


AVALIA IMPACTO Raising awareness actions for the assessment of Social Impact

The general objectives of this initiative are as follows below:

  • To sensitise the agents of Social Economy organisations about the importance of social impact assessment and the focus on the accomplished results;
  • To contribute for the increase of the implementation of practices leading to the measurement of Social Impact of the organisations pertaining to the Social Economy sector;
  • To promote the adoption of cost analysis practices of social problems, as well as the promotion of a culture of service delivery oriented to the results and to the continuous improvement of the overall performance.


IMPACTO SOCIAL This program is promoted both by CASES and Fundação Montepio. It aims at to empower social economy organisations to assess the impact of their actions which have been implemented.

The measurement and demonstration of social impact are decisive elements for organisations willing to distinguish themselves in the current socio-economic context and to ensure their sustainability in the long run.

The second Portuguese case study of finance and funds to be mentioned is named PPL.

Crowdfunding is a simple and recent way of raising funds for a project through a community that shares the same interests. PPL is a platform that brings together this network of entrepreneurs and their supporters. The goal of this platform is to develop the ideas of high potential emerging from the community and to turn the former into a reality through fundraising.

This platform aims at to promote the campaigns of talented and highly motivated people in several areas as diverse as social, artistic, cultural or sporting events. It can be the release of a CD of a new band or the organisation of a concert of a favourite band. Maybe writing a book? Or even building a picnic park in a given neighbourhood.

With PPL it is possible to publicise any campaign and to bring together the community sharing a similar interest. If each member contributes with a little support, it is possible in the near future to carry out larger projects. This is the force of crowdfunding: small investments × large community = excellent projects!

PPL works simply and transparently, using the “all or nothing” mechanics.