Between 2008 and 2010, the Commission and EU Member States implemented actions set out in the SBA to alleviate administrative burden, facilitate SMEs’ access to finance and support their access to new markets. Although most initiatives foreseen by the SBA have been initiated, a review of implementation so far reveals that more must be done to help SMEs.


European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship said: "SMEs represent more than 99% of all businesses and employ more than 90 million in Europe. They are the engine behind our economy and must be kept strong, competitive and innovative. Member States must act quickly to ensure that the Small Business Act is fully implemented."

Successful SBA Initiatives since 2008

The Small Business Act is the first comprehensive SME policy framework for the EU and its Member States. Since its adoption in June 2008, considerable progress has been made through actions to strengthen SMEs in a number of areas:

·        100 000 SMEs have benefited from the financial instruments of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme, creating more than 100 000 jobs.

·        Through the late payment directive public authorities are now required to pay their suppliers within 30 days, improving the cash flow of businesses.












































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































·        In most EU Member States the time and cost of setting up a company has been considerably reduced, lowering the EU average for a private limited company from 12 days and €485 in 2007 to 7 days and €399 in 2010.

·        Streamlined online procedures and opportunities for joint bidding have made participation in public procurement easier for SMEs.

·        The new EU SME Centre in China helps SMEs accessing the Chinese markets.

Although all Member States have acknowledged the importance of a rapid implementation of the SBA, the approach taken and the results achieved vary considerably between Member States. The review underlines that Member States have to step up their efforts to promote entrepreneurship and SMEs to support entrepreneurship in today’s difficult economic climate.

For more information: