European Official Pledges SME Focus At Naples Summit

Director General For Enterprise Aims To Boost Small Firms


Steven Beahan, Partner | +44 (0)114 294 7868

A European summit on SMEs and how to bolster their fortunes set to take place in Naples next month can go a long way towards making the business environment in the EU better for small firms, an official has remarked. 

Writing in the Parliament Magazine, director general for enterprise on the European Commission Daniel Calleja Crespo said the event, co-hosted by the Commission and the Italian government - which currently holds the presidency of the EU - will be seeking to answer questions about how "growth through enterprise" and ways to “exploit the opportunities ahead” can be delivered.

Mr Crespo said one of the steps EU member states can take to help SMEs is to implement the full provisions of the 2008 Small Business Act (SBA), which he observed has been very effective in reducing red tape and helping cross-border trade, but has not yet been brought into effect in all 28 member states.

He stated: "The SBA has proven to be an efficient policy tool to promote a better business environment for SMEs: member states have taken around 2,400 measures to improve the framework conditions and the operating environment of SMEs in the past three years."

The director general noted the 2011 update of the SBA was focused on measures to help companies cope with the economic crisis by "facilitating access to finance, cutting red tape, promoting access to markets and stimulating entrepreneurship," while the latest proposals - which are currently the subject of consultation - will aim to help the SME sector "meet future challenges".

Mr Crespo said examples of measures that could be adopted would be the spreading of venture capital markets across Europe to provide more SME finance, or a Europe-wide provision that would allow a firm to be set up in as little as three days at a cost of no more than €100 (£78).

The SME Assembly will be held from October 1st to 3rd and will include a seminar on encouraging female entrepreneurs and the launch of the European Entrepreneurial Region Award 2016 by commissioner for the regions Michel Lebrun.

Expert Opinion
As in the UK, small businesses are regarding across a number of European countries as vital to the continued improvements being seen in the global economy.

"It is vital that the summit being held in Naples not only celebrates the successes of the SME community but also considers what can be done to push forward further growth and development among this group of businesses.

"SMEs should not ignore the potential opportunities which Europe offers and it is vital that such companies seek specialist advice when considering to either export or develop their offerings in overseas markets."
Steven Beahan, Partner