The Impacts of EU Support Programs on SMEs: A Literature Review
Keywords:SMEs, EU funding, R&D, European projects
The role of Small and Medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as a source of employment opportunities and innovation in our local and regional territories is well known. However, the SMEs must face different challenges due to the dynamic context in which they are operating and the global competition. In this direction public policies are trying to support the SMEs competitiveness and innovation, through different instruments and programmes managed at national and regional level or thematic funding opportunities. In this context, several studies focused on monitoring the impacts of public support programs on turnover, investments and innovation activities in SMEs have been conducted, showing as there are general positive effects for the SMEs participating in these programs. The contribution of this paper is to identify the existing literature on the impacts of the financial support programs on SMEs, analysing the contribution of practitioners and academics and empirical researches. Literature available from 2002 to the present have been analysed using Web of Science and Scopus and using the databases available on European Commission website. Preliminary findings have shown as there is the need of a deeper investigation about the participation in EU programmes and the main contributions derive from the researchers conducted by practitioners.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Appiah, K., Osei, C., Selassie, H., Osabutey, E. (2019), “The role of government and the international competitiveness of SMEs: evidence from Ghanaian non-traditional exports”, Critical Perspectives on International Business, Vol. 15, No. 4, pp. 296-322.
Assarlind, M., Eriksson, H., Gremyr, I., Jakobsson, T. (2013), “Adopting new ways of working in small and medium-sized enterprises: findings from interventions in 12 European companies”, Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, Vol. 24 No.7-8, pp. 945-958.
Aykan, E., Aksoylu, S., Sönmez, E. (2013), “Effects of support programs on corporate strategies of small and medium-sized enterprises”, Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, Vol. 99, pp. 938-946.
Bedu, N., Vanderstocken, A. (2019), “Do regional R&D subsidies foster innovative SMEs’ development: evidence from Aquitaine SMEs”, European Planning Studies, pp. 1-24.
Boratynska, K., Andrusiewicz, E. (2018), “Selected European Union operational funds’impact on newly emerging SMEs in the Lubelskie Voivodeship”, 19th International Scientific Conference Economic Science For Rural Development, vol. 48, 9-11 May, Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies, Jelgava, Latvia, pp. 44-51.
Caloffi, A., Rossi, F., Russo, M. (2015), “What makes SMEs more likely to collaborate? Analysing the role of regional innovation policy”, European Planning Studies, Vol. 23, No. 7, pp. 1245-1264.
Ciarmatori, F., Bocconcelli, R., Pagano, A. (2018), “The role of European R&D projects for SMEs’ resource development: an IMP perspective.”, IMP Journal, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp. 346-367.
Clifton, N., Huggins, R., Morgan, B., Thompson, P. (2015), “An appropriate tool for entrepreneurial learning in SMEs? The case of the 20Twenty Leadership Programme”. Local Economy, Vol. 30 No. 5, pp. 534-556.
Colombo, M. G., D’Adda, D., Pirelli, L. H. (2016), “The participation of new technology-based firms in EU-funded R&D partnerships: The role of venture capital”, Research Policy, Vol. 45 No.2, pp. 361-375.
Čučković, N., Vučković, V. (2018), “EU R&D funding as a way of incentivizing innovation of SMEs: a review of impacts”, Croatian Economic Survey, Vol. 20, No. 2, pp. 97-127.
Czarnitzki, D., Delanote, J. (2015), “R&D policies for young SMEs: input and output effects”, Small Business Economics, Vol. 45, No. 3, pp. 465-485.
Dvouletý, O., Čadil, J., Mirošník, K. (2018), “Do firms supported by credit guarantee schemes report better financial results 2 years after the end of intervention?”, The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, Vol.19, No.1.
European Commission. (2014), “How to support SMEs policy from Structural Fund”, available at https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/0a5e4b2b-2066-4b21-b06e-eec610c4532b/ (15 March 2020)
European commission. (2020), “What is an SME”, available at: https://ec.europa.eu/growth/smes/business-friendly-environment/sme-definition_en (20 March 2020)
Faber, J., van Dijk, J., van Rijnsoever, F. (2016), “Incentives and barriers for R&D-based SMEs to participate in European research programs: an empirical assessment for the Netherlands”, Science and Public Policy, Vol. 43, No. 3, pp. 414-428.
Florio, M., Parteka, A., Sirtori, E. (2018), “The mechanisms of technological innovation in SMEs: a Bayesian Network Analysis of EU regional policy impact on Polish firms”, Technological and Economic Development of Economy, Vol. 24 No. 5, pp. 2131-2160.
Gilmore, A., Galbraith, B., Mulvenna, M. (2013), “Perceived barriers to participation in R&D programmes for SMEs within the European Union”, Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, Vol. 25, No. 3, pp. 329-339.
Golejewska, A., Gajda, D. (2015), “How Polish firms use the EU funds for innovative projects? Final evaluation of Pomerania region in Poland”, Innovation, Finance, and the Economy, Springer, pp. 1-13.
Grazi, L. (2012), “Europrogettazione 2014-2020: Le nuove opportunità offerte dai Fondi comunitari” (Europrogettazione 2014-2020: The new opportunity offered by the Community Funds), available at: http://www.eurostaff.it/fast/loknet/contenitorefiles/40863436251152304.pdf (20 March 2020)
Greco, G. (2015),”La gestione dei progetti europei: il Ciclo del Progetto” (The management of European projects: the cycle of the project), available at: https://www.ecnews.it/la-gestione-dei-progetti-europei-il-ciclo-del-progetto/ (10 April 2020)
Hunya, G., Dumitriu, I., Horváth, R., Klebeev, I., Ruhland, S. (2011), “An assessment of the access by Romanian SMEs to structural funds” wiiw Research Report. No. 368, available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/227385366_An_Assessment_of_the_Access_by_Romanian_SMEs_to_Structural_Funds (accessed 10 April 2020)
Kiełek-Więcławska, E. (2016), “Support for the SMEs sector in the framework of the smart growth operational programme for the years 2014-2020”, in Okręglicka, M., Gorzeń-Mitka, I., Anna Lemańska-Majdzik, A., Sipa, M., Skibiński, A. (Eds.), 1st International Conference Contemporary Issues in Theory and Practice of Management CITPM 2016, 21-22 April, Czestochowa University of Technology Faculty of Management, Poland, pp. 176-182.
Kock, H., Gill, A., Ellström, P. E. (2008), “Why do small enterprises participate in a programme for competence development?”, Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 20 No. 3, pp. 181-194.
Labudová, L., Jánošová, D. (2019), “Analysis of support and identification of barriers to SMEs in Slovakia and in the Czech Republic”, Serbian Journal of Management, Vol. 14, No. 2, pp. 437-453.
Lewandowska, A., Stopa, M., Humenny, G. (2015),” The European Union structural funds and regional development. The perspective of small and medium enterprises in Eastern Poland”, European Planning Studies, Vol. 23, No. 4, pp. 785-797.
Medve-Bálint, G., Šćepanović, V. (2019), “EU funds, state capacity and the development of transnational industrial policies in Europe’s Eastern periphery”, Review of International Political Economy, pp. 1-20.
Mikołajczak, P., Pawlak, J. (2017), “Factors affecting outcomes of EU-supported investments in innovation among SMEs in the Greater Poland (Wielkopolska) region, Poland”, Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 19, No. 2, pp.140-160.
Miller, D. (2000), “Paving the way for EU accession: regional development and support for SMEs in eastern Poland”, Regional Studies, Vol. 34, No. 6, pp. 586-592.
Nepelski, D., Piroli, G. (2018), “Organizational diversity and innovation potential of EU-funded research projects”, The Journal of Technology Transfer, Vol. 43, No .3, pp. 615-639.
Nilsson, P. Å., Petersen, T., Wanhill, S. (2005), “Public support for tourism SMEs in peripheral areas: the arjeplog project, northern Sweden”, The Service Industries Journal, Vol. 25, No. 4, pp. 579-599.
Pietrasieński, P., Ślusarczyk, B. (2015), “Internationalization of small and medium enterprises: empirical research review on barriers to entry into foreign markets”, Polish Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 113-123.
Adina-Simona, P. (2013), “Performance indicators for SMEs accessing EU funds”, Constanta Maritime University Annals, Vol. 19, pp. 319-322.
Radicic, D., Pugh, G. (2015), “Input and output additionality of R&D programmes in european SMEs”, In Dameri, R. P., Beltrametti, L. (Eds.), 10th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 17-18 September, Academic Conferences International Limited, Genoa, Italy, p. 567-575.
Radicic, D., Pugh, G. (2017), “R&D programmes, policy mix, and the ‘European paradox’: Evidence from European SMEs”, Science and Public Policy, Vol. 44 No.4, pp. 497-512.
Radicic, D., Pugh, G., Douglas, D. (2020), “Promoting cooperation in innovation ecosystems: evidence from European traditional manufacturing SMEs”, Small Business Economics, No. 54, No. 1, pp. 257-283.
Snyder, H. (2019), “Literature review as a research methodology: An overview and guidelines”, Journal of Business Research, Vol. 104, pp. 333-339.
Staniewski, M. W., Szopiński, T., Awruk, K. (2016), “Setting up a business and funding sources”, Journal of Business Research, Vol. 69 No.6, pp. 2108-2112.
Stewardson, D., Coleman, S. (2003), “Success and failure in helping SMEs: a three-year observational study”, Industry and Higher Education, Vol. 17, No. 2, pp. 125-130.
Venckuviene, V., Snieska, V. (2014), “Government sponsored venture capital funds and their relation to innovations in Lithuanian SMEs”, Economics and Management, Vol. 19, No.1, pp. 54-62.
Visković, J., Udovičić, M. (2016), “Awareness of SMEs on the EU funds financing possibilities: the case of Split-Dalmatia county”, in Karasavvoglou, A., Goic, S., Polychronidou, P. (Eds.), 8th International Conference The Economies of Balkan and Eastern Europe Countries in the Changed World, 6–8 May, KnE Social Sciences, Split, Croatia, pp. 319-332.
Vojtovič, S. (2016), “The impact of the structural funds on competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises”, Journal of Competitiveness, Vol. 8, No. 4, pp. 30-45.
Wilson, K. (2006), “Encouraging the internationalisation of SMEs”, OECD papers, Vol. 6, No. 12, pp. 43-66.
Zaneta, S., Joshua, F. (2015), “The effect of European Union structural fund on small and medium enterprises”, in Simberova, I., Kocmanova, A. (Eds.), 15th International Conference of Perspectives of Business and Entrepreneurship Development at Brno University of Technology, May 28-29, Brno, Czech Republic, pp. 101-109.