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SMEs in the EU

News and information about the European Union's policies for small and medium-sized businesses.

Business prospects for 2010 lowest in a decade
Businesses in Europe expect to invest and employ less in 2010 than at any time in the last decade. Also turnover and export forecasts are at their lowest level since 2000, while businesses do not anticipate any changes in domestic sales for the coming year.

Small Business Act: a not so happy birthday, say SMEs
The Small Business Act adopted exactly one year ago by the Council has had a limited impact on the ground so far and much remains to be done to ensure the full application of its principles and guidelines, according to UEAPME, the European craft and SME employers' organisation.

Starting a business in Croatia
This World Bank site provides information about the procedures and costs associated with starting a business in Croatia.

IPA: Regional Competitiveness Operational Programme in Croatia
The overall objective of the Regional Competitiveness Operational Programme is to achieve higher competitiveness and a balanced regional development by supporting small and medium enterprises' competitiveness, alongside with improving economic conditions in Croatia's lagging areas. IPA funds will therefore support business services rendered for micro and small and medium size enterprises (SMEs), strategic cooperation between companies, strengthening of entrepreneurial skills in the academia, promoting business and investment climate, developing business-related infrastructure.

Access to finance
An overview of the sources of finance available to SMEs in Malta.

Setting up a business in Malta
An overview of the process of starting a new business in Malta.

Access to finance
The Law on Small and Medium Size Business Development of the Republic of Lithuania that came into force on 1 January 2008 defines the types of small and medium size businesses, the forms of state aid available to them and other important relevant provisions.

Setting up a business in Lithuania
An overview of the process of starting a new business in Lithuania.

Starting a business in Latvia
An overview of the process of starting a new business in Latvia.

Access to finance
During economic growth in Latvia the most popular method of financing was bank loans. After Latvia joined the European Union businesses actively applied for EU funding. The Ministry of Economics is in charge of defining and coordinating government assistance policy for businesses.

Setting up a business in Estonia
An overview of the process of starting a new business in Estonia.

Access to finance
An overview of the sources of finance available to SMEs in Estonia.

EU-Turkey Chambers Forum: a practical step forward in Turkish preparation for EU accession
One year ago, a EUROCHAMBRES/TOBB survey showed that Turkish businesses are not yet ready for EU accession mainly because of a lack of information on EU legislation. Today, part of this information gap has been filled thanks to the ETCF project (EU-Turkey Chambers Forum).

Setting up a business in the UK
No permission is required to establish a business presence in the UK, although there are regulations on the use of business names and certain business sectors which may require licences or authorisation (such as finance, defence and oil exploration).

Access to finance
There are various sources of funding, support and advice available for business owners from a variety of UK bodies.

Setting up a business in Sweden
An overview of the process of starting a new business in Sweden.

Access to finance
An overview of the sources of funding available to SMEs in Sweden.

Access to finance
In Slovakia, there is a wide range of programmes, funds and loans available for the support of enterprise, which may be divided into public sector financial instruments and private sector financial instruments.

Setting up a business in Slovakia
An overview of the process of starting a new business in Slovakia.

Access to finance
In addition to European funding in various forms, several sources of funding are available to business persons in Slovenia. As a general rule, they follow the intent of establishing a systematic business-friendly environment.

Starting a business in Slovenia
An overview of the process of starting a new business in Slovenia.

Access to finance
An overview of the sources of finance available to SMEs in Portugal.

Starting a business in Portugal
An overview of the process of starting a new business in Portugal.

Eurobarometer survey on discrimination
Special Eurobarometer survey on discrimination – summary, report and national factsheets

Starting a business in Italy
An overview of the process of starting a new business in Italy.