Assessing the Implementation of the Small Business Act for Europe
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are essential drivers of sustainable economic
growth in the Western Balkans and Turkey, where they make up 99% of all firms, generate
65% value added and account for 75% of employment. Nevertheless, SMEs across the region
continue to face obstacles such as difficulties accessing financing, low levels of
digital uptake, regulatory barriers and relatively low participation in international
trade. The situation has been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic: SMEs found
themselves fighting for survival amidst reduced demand, lockdowns and travel restrictions,
and supply chain disruptions.
This report provides an overview of the implementation of the Small Business Act for
Europe during the period 2019-22. It is designed to help policy makers design, implement
and monitor policies to support the recovery of SMEs from the pandemic, boost their
competitiveness based on OECD and EU good practices, and further enhance the region’s
economic growth and resilience.