The annual report on the performance of European Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) has been published on July 1st by DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW) and the European Innovation Council and SME Executive Agency (EISMEA). This report reviews the performance of SMEs in the EU in 2020, the impact of the pandemic, the likely performance of SMEs in the EU in 2021, as well as the digitalisation of SMEs.
The use of various digital tools by SMEs in 2020 helped to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. The state of digitalisation of SMEs in 2020 shows differences between micro SMEs, small SMEs, and medium-sized SMEs. For example, a larger proportion of micro SMEs focused on only basic digital technologies rather than advanced digital technologies. The most common reason given by SMEs for not using information and communication technologies (ICT) was that the organisation’s ICT infrastructure was not suitable. Relatively less important factors were that costs of ICT systems outweighed the benefits and a lack of internal ICT skills.
EU programmes and policies (such as DigitaliseSME and Digital Europe) have either already made important contributions by helping SMEs to digitalise or by reducing the environmental impact of their activities. However, the analysis in this report also shows that more remains to be done. For more information on the digitalisation of SMEs and the policy conclusions and recommendations, read the full report on SME Performance Review.
The ATI project has been set up to promote the creation of a competitive European industry. By monitoring technological trends and up-to-date data on advanced technologies, the project aims to support the implementation of policies and initiatives. For more information, read more about the ATI project.