Growth

SMEs’ access to markets

SMEs’ access to markets

Many small companies in the EU struggle to internationalise their business even with an open and fair trade framework in place. Only 25% of EU-based small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) export at all and an even smaller portion export beyond the EU. The Commission aims to help European businesses face competition, access foreign markets, and find new business partners abroad. Going international increases SMEs' performance, enhances competitiveness, and reinforces sustainable growth.

The European Single Market

With more than 500 million consumers, the European Single Market for products and services provides many opportunities for intra-EU trade. The Commission’s objective is to have a stable regulatory framework to foster the free movement of products and allow SMEs to take advantage.  

European Standardisation System

European Standards are an important tool for enhancing SMEs’ competitiveness. Standards help reduce technical barriers to trade, reduce costs, and facilitate SMEs' access to markets.

Access to markets information

SMEs can find more information on the SME support webpage or through the following portals:

  • Enterprise Europe Network - the network helps SMEs and entrepreneurs access market information, overcome legal obstacles, and find potential business partners across Europe;
  • SME Internationalisation portal- on the portal, entrepreneurs and small companies can easily access information on (semi)public support service providers in the EU and on international markets;
  • Internationalisation of Clusters - this initiative aims at promoting international cluster cooperation by intensifying cluster and business network collaboration across borders and sectoral boundaries within and beyond Europe.
  • Your Europe Business Portal - the portal is a practical guide to doing business in Europe. It provides entrepreneurs with information and interactive services that help them expand their business abroad;
  • European Small Business Portal - small companies and entrepreneurs can find information about access to finance, access to markets, and policy related to SMEs on the portal.

SME Internationalisation beyond the EU

On the SME Internationalisation website, SMEs can find more information on:

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