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Small Business Act for Europe

Adopted in June 2008, the “Small Business Act” for Europe (SBA) reflects the Commission’s political will to recognise the central role of SMEs in the EU economy and for the first time puts into place a comprehensive SME policy framework for the EU and its Member States.

It aims to improve the overall approach to entrepreneurship, to irreversibly anchor the “Think Small first” principle in policy making from regulation to public service, and to promote SMEs’ growth by helping them tackle the remaining problems which hamper their development.

The Small Business Act for Europe applies to all companies which are independent and have fewer than 250 employees: 99% of all European businesses.

February 2011: SBA Review: What has been done and what is to be done for Europe’s SMEs

The SBA review presents an overview of the progress achieved in implementing the SBA, and sets out new actions to respond to challenges resulting from the economic crisis. Between 2008 and 2010, the Commission and EU Member States implemented actions 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.

In short, the SBA…

  • … is a set of 10 principles which should guide the conception and implementation of policies both at EU and national level. This is essential to create a level playing field for SMEs throughout the EU and improve the administrative and legal environment to allow these enterprises to release their full potential to create jobs and growth;
  • … is an ambitious package of concrete and far reaching new measures including 4 legislative proposals which translate these principles into action both at EU and Member State level;
  • … was endorsed politically by the EU Council of Ministers in December 2008 to ensure ensure the fulcommitment of both the Commission and the Member States together with regular monitoring of its implementation.

PM & Picture © European Commission

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