Bulgarian SMEs Stable and Busy Despite Crisis - EU Study
Bulgaria's small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) have stabilized after the crisis with noticeably more businesses, jobs and value added than the EU as a whole, according to a new European Commission report.
The conclusion is made after researching data compared with the base year 2005.
The European Commission report, issued to mark a SME week organized across the bloc, analyses the latest data with regards to SMEs in various aspects including employment, access to finance, value added and environment
SMEs in Bulgaria represent 99.8% of all businesses and account for 61.9% of the economic added value and 75.7% of employment in the private non-financial sector, the study found out.
16% of SMEs are active in the high-tech manufacturing and knowledge intensive service sectors which are considered key for the future competitiveness of the country.
Bulgarian SMEs tend to be larger across all size classes than their EU peers. The sector they are most likely to be active in is trade, rather than services, as in the EU as a whole.
While the government has not yet adopted a national strategy to implement the Small Business Act, significant measures have been taken, especially in the areas of 'Responsive administration', 'Single market' and 'Think small first', the study said.
It criticized Bulgaria for lagging behind in five SBA areas - 'Second chance', 'Environment', 'Internationalization', 'Entrepreneurship' and 'Skills and innovation'.
The study concluded that Europe's SMEs continue to strive for recovery with Austria and Germany named the best EU performers.
"If we take the EU as a whole so far their overall efforts have mainly led to 'jobless' growth, as shown by diverging trends in the EU27 member states."
Despite the challenging environment, SMEs stood their ground as the backbone of the European economy, accounting for more than 98% of all enterprises with about 20.7 million firms and more than 87 million people employees.
The lion's share, 92.2%, of SMEs is represented by micro firms with fewer than 10 employees. It is estimated that SMEs account for 67% of total employment and 58% of gross value added (GVA).
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