Experts from 8 European countries analyse the challenges of effective support for SMEs. In the framework of the project “Efficient Support Services Portfolios for SMEs” (ESSPO), representatives of NGOs, municipalities and institutions analyse the effectiveness and challenges of national and regional business development programmes for optimisation.
In recent months, experts have reviewed and made recommendations on the performance of national instruments to their partners. The aim is to analyse good practices and weaknesses in their work. One of the conclusions is that there is both insufficient decentralisation and access to resources and examples of full autonomy and serious funding to support SMEs in the countries participating in the project, as well as little to no serious experience and expertise.
The approach taken by the project partners is to look at the situation in each region or country, and then outline the common specific issues. “The needs of SMEs are at the heart of all policies, but understanding of them is often superficial, a mixture of wants and requirements. A serious discussion on the subject will show what the main problems are,” ESSPO said in a press release.
At the team’s meeting in Tartu, Estonia, in June, colleagues agreed that financial instruments to support SMEs are specific, and it is more appropriate to develop different methodologies to explore the challenges faced by firms. These are to be discussed at the next project partners’ meeting in October in Germany.
The aim of the project “Efficient Support Services Portfolios for SMEs” (ESSPO) is to analyse the monitoring and evaluation mechanisms of SME support instruments in eight European countries. ESSPO started in January 2016 and will end in December 2020.
Read the summary of the project results here.
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