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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Towards a European Small Business Act?

At least, I hope so.

Between 23 and 40% of the United States of America´s public procurement have been granted to small and medium businesses (SMEs) since 1953. The American Small Business Act has helped many innovative start-ups become high-growth SMEs, in other words Gazelles, before eventually going public, abroad and joining the multi-national enterprises (MNEs) club.

In the last 30 years, Europe hasn´t created so many world leaders when compared to the United States or, say, India. Take the Internet industry for instance: the Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, eBay (which acquired Luxembourg-founded by Swedish & Danish entrepreneurs Skype), Amazon are all US-born and raised. And the same goes for many industries. Europe has a hard time making SMEs become world leaders, despite obvious entrepreneurial capabilities: the bulk of the industrial fabric in many European countries is made of SMEs (Spain, Italy, Germany, to name a few).

On the one hand, most public procurement tenders are disputed between already leading. On the other hand, the European Union wants to promote, like it or not, equal chances to succeed for all. Quite paradoxically, global European leaders are thriving whilst unemployment rises.

So let´s give a European Small Business Act a chance. I advocate the creation of mechanisms that would allow the best SMEs to supply European Governments with their products and services. European public procurement currently amounting to 1500bn€, a European Small Business Act appears at least as a short term solution to rising employment and SMEs development uncertainties.

If you agree with my stance, if you believe like me that Europe needs a Small Business Act, that the best companies - independently from their size - deserve a share of the 1500bn€ per annum public procurement market, sign the EuroSBA petition.


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