must help "Papa and Mama" businesses Jan03
I would like to
thank the Greek Ministry for Development, the Secretariat for Industry and
the European Commission for inviting me to Athens to address this Workshop
on Small & Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs).
My family has run
a small business for over a century. I worked in our family business for
30 years before entering politics. Therefore, as an industrialist and
businessman, it is not surprising that I promote and defend the interests
of SMEs, both in my Eastern Region of the UK and in the European
European Council set the strategic goal of making the EU "the most
competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world by
2010". Whilst there has been some progress, we still have a very long
way to go.
economic growth – they train people with poor skills; they identify
local needs and respond by producing or processing products required; they
create employment, wealth and security for the local community.
What are the
hindrances, difficulties and bottlenecks facing SMEs in the EU? Why are
they not growing as fast as those in the USA?
tape, high direct and indirect taxation, expensive and inadequate access
to loans and grants, insufficient allowance for upskilling workers and
lack of sponsored apprenticeships. In Europe,
“Papas and Mamas”, in their 50s and 60s own and manage their
businesses traditionally – they are reluctant to invest in new
suspect that the investment will not offer sufficient advantage
do not understand the scope and function of new technology in increasing
productivity and expanding sales
have fear of security of supply, quality, payment and legal liability
Parliament Report on “Impact of Information Communication Technology on
SMEs” analyses the problems facing SMEs and offers a programme of action
to stimulate them so that they can compete globally and help realise the
EU dream to be the most dynamic and competitive economy in the world.