Study on Support Services for SMEs in International Business 2013
At present, relatively few SMEs in the EU are doing business beyond Europe. As SMEs are the backbone of the EU economy, they could be the vehicle to restoring growth in the EU, provided they enter the markets of fast growing economies. Moreover, those SMEs that have international operations report stronger turnover growth, higher rates of job creation, and increased innovation capacity.
Amongst the objectives of the Commission’s strategy in the Communication ‘Small Business, Big World’ are providing SMEs with easily accessible and adequate information on how to expand their businesses outside the EU, improving the coherence of the activities and filling the gaps in the existing services.
The guidelines of the present study on mapping and analysing the existing support services come from the strategy above. This study serves two purposes:
- Collecting data for a portal for EU SMEs seeking support services for internationalisation;
- Assisting with identifying gaps and overlaps in existing support services.
The study aims at assessing the scope and availability of support services for EU SMEs, both within the EU and in 25 countries outside the EU. The outcome of the study should be an inventory of the support measures and an analysis of gaps and overlaps in existing services being offered in order to identify the needs for any future additional action.