SME Competitiveness

SMEs are the backbone of our economy, accounting for 99% of businesses and up to two-thirds of all private sector jobs in the EU. This is why the competitiveness of SMEs is at the forefront of Interreg Europe, feeding into the broader Europe 2020 strategy for smart, inclusive and sustainable growth.

Some 1.2 million enterprises are created in the EU every year, yet only half of those survive the first five years. So the challenge for regions is to improve policies that can boost entrepreneurship and support SMEs - in all stages of their life cycle - by helping them to grow and innovate and breaking down the barriers that prevent business growth.

Through our SME Competitiveness theme, Interreg Europe fosters exchange of experience, capacity building and networking aimed at helping SMEs to grow in regional, national and international markets.

The field is complex and requires much learning in terms of internationalisation, access to markets, financing, growth capacity, networking and clustering, innovation capacity, business transfer, entrepreneurship development and capacity building. It also entails the incorporation of new forms of SME development, such as design, eco-conception and corporate social responsibility.

Solutions do exist. INTERREG IVC has shown, for example, that a solution found in one region can be shared, transferred and adapted for the benefit of other regions. In this context, our SME Competitiveness Policy Learning Platform offers regional and local actors the means to accelerate the design and implementation of their policies, making them as effective and efficient as possible.

Get Inspired

Interreg Europe is the follow-up programme for INTERREG IVC. Between 2007 and 2014 INTERREG IVC set the cogwheels of interregional cooperation in motion and gathered a lot of knowledge throughout the 204 financed projects. Get inspiration for your project proposal from the INTERREG IVC policy recommendations!