Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

SME regional policies

SME regional policies

Maintaining a broad base of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is very important for the economic development, wealth and sustainability of a region. To help create a business friendly environment and boost SMEs' competitiveness on a regional level as well, the European Commission provides analysis, shares best practices, programmes and policy initiatives.

Fostering collaboration by connecting European entrepreneurial regions

Cooperation among regions is key to sharing and promoting best-practices that support entrepreneurs. Regions with forward-thinking and promising entrepreneurship received the European Entrepreneurial Regions label. This project furthers collaboration between regions, supporting entrepreneurs with themed actions such as access to finance. 

Guidebooks on support to SME policy from structural funds

  • What the Commission does - the Commission prepares and disseminates series of guidebooks offering inspiration, tested examples, practical help and hands-on advice gathered by SME Policy expert groups. The implementation of the best practices is often not possible without a financial support. At a regional level, such a support is available from structural funds ERDF and ESF.
  • What the guidebooks are about - each guidebook deals with a specific area of SME policy and includes examples of recent projects. A general guide provides an overview of the whole process.
  • Who the guidebooks are for – the guidebooks are recommended to anyone involved in SME policy as well as regional development. They aim to raise awareness of the EU actions and facilitate the funding process of SME policy measures and initiatives at national and regional level.

The guidebooks published so far:

  1. Building entrepreneurial mind-sets and skills in the EU
  2. Using standards to support growth, competitiveness and innovation
  3. Facilitating transfer of business
  4. The smart guide to service innovation
  5. Regional implementation of the SBA – Small Business Act for Europe
  6. How to use structural funds for SME & Entrepreneurship Policy (further details, 362 KB)
  7. Supporting the internationalisation of SMEs
  8. Public procurement as a driver of innovation in SMEs and public services
  9. Fostering business angel activities in support of SME growth
  10. Improving resource efficiency in SMEs
  11. Smart Guide to Cluster Policy

You can also order a paper copy or a free eBook version of each guidebook directly from the online library managed by the Publications Office of the European Union.

Click on the desired language icon in below list and you will be transferred directly to the EU Bookshop with a list of guidebooks available in your language :























Note: Not all guidebooks are available in all languages as paper copies. There is also a time delay between the PDF version being made available on this page and the physical stock becoming available in the EU Publications.