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Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

The more than 20 million SMEs in the EU represent 99% of businesses, and are a key driver for economic growth, innovation, employment and social integration. The European Commission aims to promote successful entrepreneurship and improve the business environment for SMEs, to allow them to realise their full potential in today's global economy.

What does the EU do?

The European Commission works on broad policy issues affecting entrepreneurship and SMEs across Europe, and assists SMEs through networks and business support measures. It helps existing and potential entrepreneurs to grow their businesses, giving special attention to women entrepreneurs, crafts and social economy enterprises.

The Small Business Act for Europe (SBA) embodies the EU's commitment to SMEs and entrepreneurship. Member States have committed to implementing the SBA alongside the European Commission in an effort to make the EU a better place to do business.

Since SMEs have to be supported at local level, the Commission helps Member States and the regions to develop policies aimed at promoting entrepreneurship, assisting SMEs at all stages of development, and helping them to access global markets. The identification and exchange of good practices are key elements of this policy.

The European Small Business Portal gathers together all the SME-related information provided by the EU, ranging from practical advice to policy issues, from local contact points to networking links.

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