MICRO Enhancing Competitiveness of Microentreprises in Rural Areas

Unit 1: The EU Small Business Act


Unit 1: The EU Small Business Act

european tools, rural areas



The unit aims to describe how the EU Small Business Act supports micro-enterprises across Europe

Course on The EU Small Business Act


 EU wide tools and resources for rural micro-enterprise development

Unit 1: The EU Small Business Act

  The EU Small Business Act – SBA (2008) (1/2)

The “Small Business Act” for Europe (SBA) introduces a comprehensive set of measures to establish the framework of all actions in support of SMEs

The main priorities are:

  • Promoting entrepreneurship
  • Reducing regulatory burdens
  • Facilitating access to finance
  • Enhancing access to markets and internationalisation


  The EU Small Business Act – SBA (2008) (2/2)

It anchors the “Think Small First” principle in law and policy making to strengthen SMEs’ competitiveness by tackling the obstacles that hamper SMEs’ potential to grow and create jobs

It applies to all companies which meet the SME criteria, including micro-enterprises

  The EU Small Business Act – 10 principles (1/3)

  1. Create an environment in which entrepreneurs and family businesses can thrive and entrepreneurship is rewarded
  2. Ensure that honest entrepreneurs who have faced bankruptcy quickly get a second chance
  3. Design rules according to the “Think Small First” principle
  4. Make public administrations responsive to SMEs’ needs

  The EU Small Business Act – 10 principles (2/3)

5. Adapt public policy tools to SME needs: facilitate SMEs’ participation in public procurement and improve use of State Aid possibilities for SMEs

6. Facilitate SMEs’ access to finance and develop a legal and business environment supportive of timely payments in commercial transactions

7. Help SMEs to benefit more from the opportunities offered by the Single Market

  The EU Small Business Act – 10 principles (3/3)

8. Promote the upgrading of skills in SMEs and all forms of innovation

9. Enable SMEs to turn environmental challenges into opportunities

10. Encourage and support SMEs to benefit from the growth of markets

  The EU Small Business Act – SBA (2008)

Legislation that is guided by the “Think Small First” principle:

oGeneral Block Exemption Regulation on State Aids (GBER): it simplifies and harmonises existing rules to increase investment aid intensities for SMEs
oRegulation providing for a Statute for a European Private Company (SPE): it creates a legal form for an SPE that can be created and operate according to the same uniform principles in all Member States
oDirective on reduced VAT rates: it offers Member States the option of applying reduced VAT rates principally for locally supplied services, which are mainly provided by SMEs

  The “Think Small First” Principle

The “Think Small First” principle recognizes SMEs’ central role by inviting legislators to fully consider SMEs’ specific needs before introducing new laws and legislation.

By putting SMEs to centre stage, the "Think Small First" principle allows national governments to enact effective legislation and tailored rules in support of SMEs.


At the end of this module you will be able to: - Know what the EU Small Business Act is and how it supports micro and small businesses - Get familiar with the “Think Small First” principle and why it is relevant for micro and small businesses


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