This paper explores the support provided by a publicly funded participative loan on 921 young and innovative small firms from 2006 to 2014. Based upon matching approach and double-difference estimator, certification, resource-based effects, and performance-enhancing effects are analysed. Findings point out the importance of public support design for innovation through a positive impact on intangible assets. However, similarly to the performance-enhancing effect, a non-significant impact is found for certification. Results are robust to the program and econometric settings.