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Performance of SMEs in 2012: amidst challenges, prospects improving for most Member States

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European SMEs were significantly more resilient than large enterprises at the beginning of the crisis, i.e. in the period 2008-2011. However, as the crisis wore on SMEs were slower to recover than larger firms. Every year the European Commission analyses how much progress European countries made in implementing the Small Business Act (SBA).

This memo describes the results of the 2012 assessments which were published today in the country-specific SBA factsheets2. The SBA factsheets are developed on the basis of a wide range of success indicators and national policy developments, grouped according to the SBA's ten policy dimensions:

(1) Entrepreneurship,

(2) Second chance,

(3) Think small first,

(4) Responsive administration,

(5) State aid and public procurement,

(6) Access to finance,

(7) Single market,

(8) Skills and innovations,

(9) Environment, and

(10) Internationalization.

The SBA factsheets also include trend charts in the SME sector for each country (also included in this memo). It is important to note that these figures represent estimates for 2011-2014, based on 2008-2010 figures from the Structural Business Statistics Database (Eurostat).

The SBA factsheets cover the 28 EU Member States, as well as Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Israel, Liechtenstein, Norway, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey.


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