The BusinessEurope SME Roadshow kicked off February 8 in Helsinki. Finland is the first stop in a series of events across the EU to highlight the role of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in getting out of the crisis mode in Europe. The event was organised by BusinessEurope together with its member federation, the Confederation of Finnish Industries EK.
The idea of SME Roadshows in European capital cities was developed in 2023. The aim is to mobilise national ecosystems, European institutions, SME Envoys, CEOs, entrepreneurs, business associations, trade unions and NGOs from across Europe, to find constructive solutions on how better to support small and medium-sized enterprises. In discussion rounds with representatives from business, politics and civil organisations as well as during company visits, participants get first-hand insights into the current situation of SMEs.
On the first roadshow, which attracted over 200 participants, Fabrice Le Saché, Chair of BusinessEurope’s Entrepreneurship & SME Committee, commented:
“SMEs are currently up to their necks. Companies need regulatory breathing space to survive today’s multiple crises. Our top priority is to have the SME Test thoroughly applied across all new EU initiatives. Avoiding unnecessary or disproportionate burdens is key to ensure an SME-proofed regulatory regime. It is therefore all the more valuable to have the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, join our first roadshow.”
The focus of discussion rounds and company visits was threefold: the impact of sustainability regulation on SMEs, the difficulty in accessing finance, and the challenges and opportunities of cybersecurity.
Petri Vuorio, Vice-Chair of BusinessEurope’s Entrepreneurship & SME Committee, and Director for Entrepreneurship, Business Policy and EU Affairs at the Confederation of Finnish Industries, added:
“We are proud to host the first BusinessEurope SME Roadshow in Helsinki. This event is a unique opportunity to gather key representatives from across Europe to discuss both challenges and opportunities of SME scaling-up in the EU, particularly with regards to the sustainability transition. In the current tense situation, it is crucial to have a reality check with entrepreneurs and find ways for politics and business to work together to strengthen competitiveness.”
The next stop of BusinessEurope SME Roadshow will be Rome, Italy.
You can find the joint SME Test benchmark report by BusinessEurope, Eurochambres and SMEunited here.