The proposals before us attempt to counter a fundamental problem – the availability of equity and risk capital covering sme startups and expansion projects.
There is not the culture, as in the US, for such financing to be mobilised through OTCs or similar intermediaries.
Encouraging such a system in Europe makes sense but difficulties should not be underestimated.
The people at the frontline, by way of entrepreneurship, intermediation and regulation need to be of top quality.
They need to be innovative, flexible and knowledgeable about operating conditions on the ground.
A strengthened supervisory role for ESMA is indicated but effective regulation must remain light touch.
Initially, small scale startups are quite likely to concentrate around digital, entertainment and social projects.
Attention should however be paid, through appropriate incentives, to encourage projects in fields such as light engineering, electronics and environmental technologies.
Projects by young people had better be given priority and promotional ties should be built between venture capital structures and the relevant departments of universities and technical institutes.
In this context, special programmes for peripheral and island regions should seek to tap there the existing potential for small scale enterprise that is damped by the high cost of risk capital.