How the Small Business Act for Europe puts SMEs first

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Front cover of Thinking Big for Small Businesses via ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/sme/files/thinking_big_en.pdf

Front cover of Thinking Big for Small Businesses via ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/sme/files/thinking_big_en.pdf

Adopted in June 2008, the Small Business Act for Europe (SBA) reflects the European Commission’s recognition of the central role that SMEs play in the EU economy. For the first time, it sets out a comprehensive SME policy framework for the EU and its Member States.

The aim of the Act is to improve the overall approach to entrepreneurship and permanently embed the ‘Think Small First’ principle in policy-making – from regulation to public service.  The Act promotes SME growth by helping them tackle problems which hamper their development, particularly focusing on initiatives that help small businesses by:

• Cutting red tape

• Providing access to finance

• Increasing access to markets

Finally, the Act also aims to deliver a longer-term shift in attitudes – creating a greater awareness of the role entrepreneurs play in society and encouraging and inspiring potential new entrepreneurs.

Who is responsible for driving the SBA forward?

As part of a review of the Small Business Act, the Commission invited Member States to nominate a national SME Envoy to complement the role of the European Commission’s SME Envoy, Mr Daniel Calleja Crespo. Together with representatives of EU-level SME business organisations, the network of SME Envoys facilitates the implementation of the Small Business Act on a European level and in Member States.

An SBA spin-off: the EEPAs

The European Enterprise Promotion Awards support the aims of the Small Business Act by recognising innovation and rewarding the success of public bodies and public-private partnerships in promoting enterprise & entrepreneurship at a national, regional and local level.