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May 7, 2009

European SME week


EU to cut red tape by 25%
The first European SME week is under way taking place from the 6th to the 14th of May. The SME week seeks to promote entrepreneurship across Europe and inform entrepreneurs about available resources, advise and support.
The week is off to a great start with the European Commission Vice-President Günter Verheugen announcing his aims to reduce red tape right across Europe by 25% over the next few years.

Meanwhile, the French president Nicolas Sarkozy has already implemented the US-style 'Small Business Act' hoping to improve market conditions for SMEs and boost their economy.

The ten guiding principles for the European Small Business Act are as follows:
  • Creating an environment in which entrepreneurship is rewarded.
  • Ensuring that honest entrepreneurs who have faced bankruptcy get a second chance.
  • Mainstreaming the 'Think Small First' principle into all fields of legislation.
  • Making public administrations more responsive to the needs of SMEs.
  • Adapting public policy tools to SMEs' needs, notably by facilitating their participation in public procurement and making better use of state aid.
  • Facilitating SMEs' access to finance and developing a legal environment supporting timely payment in commercial transactions.
  • Helping SMEs benefit more from the opportunities offered by the single market.
  • Promoting skills upgrades and innovation in all its forms.
  • Enabling SMEs to turn environmental challenges into opportunities.
  • Allowing SMEs to benefit from the growth of markets.