finMED project Parnner Éa éco-entreprises organised an information webinar on “The role of banks and investment funds for financing cleantech SMEs”

On the 7th of July 2020, our partner, the french cluster Éa éco-entreprises organised an information webinar around “The role of banks and investment funds for financing cleantech SMEs”.

The objective of this webinar, organised in the framework of finMED project (Interreg MED), was to tackle the following question: “How to strengthen the collaboration between cleantech SMEs and financers in order to elaborate bankable green projects?”

Different public and private financial instruments for the green growth were presented (equity, quasi-equity, loans, mezzanine, guarantees).

Speakers from the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund participated into the session to present the Next Generation EU financial instruments available for cleantech projects. The President of the Regional French Banking Federation as well as representants of national banks - such as BNP Paribas, CIC, Banque Populaire Méditerranée, Crédit Agricole, BPI France and Region SUD Invest Fund - presented their financial instruments to the SMEs and explained the points which should be taken into consideration to make a successful presentation in front of a banker.

Some important conclusions were highlighted:

  • clusters play a major role in the financing process, acting as a bridge between entrepreneurs and financers. The green projects might be analysed by a financer with more consideration if the company is already part of an ecosystem…The quality and reputation of the accompanying structure is a factor of success in the selection and processing of proposals. They are both able to support the banks with technical knowledge and expertise and to help SMEs to get out from their solitude, vulgarise and structure their innovation project in order to get their project bankable.
  • COVID19 acts as a catalyser for accelerating the Energetic and Ecological Transition
  • Entrepreneurs should adapt the presentation of their project if they speak to a banker or to an investor
  • The banks in Region SUD are used to work together in collective intelligence for moving things forward.
  • One of the suggestions was to build a committee of financers (including banks and investors) to work closely with Éa éco-entreprises cluster in order to get the cleantech projects bankable.

The idea was approved by the audience and further discussions will follow.

From the 42 attendees who joined the online meeting, around 20 were cleantech SMEs and other French clusters. The attendees could ask to the financers direct questions related to their presentations and their expectations on preparing a good presentation to get their project funded.

You can watch the webinar and download the presentations here.