SME performance and competitiveness - Addressing drivers for success

11 March 2019

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make up 99% of the businesses in the EU. They are the backbone of the European economy, contributing to growth, innovation and jobs creation. It is therefore in the EU’s interest for European SMEs to perform well and be competitive when dealing with the many challenges they face. European SMEs are however lagging behind in the uptake of new technologies and much more can be done to help SMEs gain from the rise of big data and artificial intelligence. SMEs in Europe also face a particular challenge in scaling-up and in securing the necessary funding they need to cross the so-called “valley of death” from SMEs to mid-caps.

This Policy Dialogue explored the state of SME performance and competitiveness today, the barriers they face and the drivers for success. Speakers reflected on the role of regulation, single market, financial instruments, labour market policies and access to human resources in improving SME competitiveness, as well as the lessons learned to date. It addressed the specific responsibilities EU institutions and member states have in supporting SMEs in Europe.

Speakers included: Miriam Koreen, Senior Counsellor, SME and Entrepreneurship Division, Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities, OECD, Kristian Uppenberg, Head of Division of Advanced Materials, European Investment Bank, Kristin Schreiber, Director for COSME Programme and SME Policy, DG GROW, European Commission, Gerhard Huemer, Director, Economic Policy, SMEunited, Géraldine Verbrugghe, Adviser SME Policy and competitiveness, EuroCommerce, Daniel Cloquet Director, BusinessEurope, Angelo Parnofiello Junior Policy Advisor, Eurochambres.