Helping SMEs ‘Go for Growth’
Cyprus, as EU presidency, will put SMEs at the centre of policy-making this year by hosting an Assembly on SME issues. The Assembly will take place in Nicosia on 15 and 16 November 2012 and bring together SMEs; business organisations; European, national and regional government; academia and the media to discuss how to help SMEs ‘Go for Growth’.
The SME Assembly recognises the importance of the European Union’s commitment to SMEs and its success in rolling out and implementing the Small Business Act, the SME policy framework, at member state level. Delegates to the Assembly will take part in dynamic and interactive discussions and workshops with SMEs and organisations that have worked successfully to promote small business.
The Assembly will culminate in the annual European Enterprise Promotion Awards ceremony, celebrating organisations that have helped to promote entrepreneurship at national, regional or local level over the past year.
SMEs are Europe’s growth engine: more than 99% of all companies being either small or medium-sized and 85% of all jobs created over the last years are in SMEs. Given their importance, it is critical that they have a say when European and national policy-makers design the rules that shape the business environment in which small businesses and crafts have to evolve every day.
Finding ways to support SMEs as they ‘Go for Growth’ is a critical objective for Europe, and this first ever SME Assembly is just one of the ways that the European Commission is putting small businesses and crafts at the centre of policy-making.
The influential and diverse Assembly audience will address some of the most critical issues facing small businesses:
- Encouraging young and women entrepreneurs
- Access to finance
- Access to national, EU and international markets
- Opportunities in the green economy
- Growth in the current economic situation
- Better rules for business
- Realising SME potential
The conference will also hear from SMEs that are bucking the trend; how they have been helped to thrive by national, regional or local government support; and lessons that can be drawn to help others emulate their success. The European Enterprise Promotion Awards – launched in 2006 – have been fundamental in laying the foundations for this Assembly through celebrating those organisations that help to promote entrepreneurship. The Assembly will culminate in the 2012 European Enterprise Promotion Awards ceremony.
We are sure that all participants will leave with new ideas, new targets, new partners or even business ideas. Something tangible that they can immediately act on to facilitate or reinforce the key role SMEs can play in restoring growth in Europe.
SMEs in Europe and Cyprus
- The EU is home to more than 20 Million SMEs who account for over 99% of businesses in Europe. Over the last 5 years, SMEs have provided two thirds of total private employment and 80% of new jobs created across the EU.
- The economy of Cyprus is dominated by small enterprises. Almost all enterprises (99.9%) are SMEs.
- The Cypriot Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, appointed in March 2012 will be attending the Assembly.
- Upon Vice President Tajani's invitation each Member State has appointed an SME Envoy to promote the interests of SMEs throughout all government bodies, including those at regional and local levels. These SME Envoys act as the main interface between the European Commission and national policymakers in implementing the Small Business Act (SBA) via the "Think Small First" principle.