Crafts, Trades and Smes Need Better Access to Finance

|[pic]                                     |union europeenne de l’artisanat et des petites et moyennes entreprises                                 |
|                                         |Europäische Union des Handwerks und der Klein- und Mittelbetriebe                                       |
|                                         |European association of craft, small and medium-sized enterprises                                       |
|                                         |Unione europea dell’artigianato e delle piccole e medie imprese                                         |

Crafts, Trades and SMEs need
better access to finance

Policy actions are needed in order
to meet the challenge of:

• SMEs’ high dependence on external finance

• new capital requirements (Basel II)

• increasing risk awareness for Banks

UEAPME Position Paper on the

Future of SME finance

final                                                                                             October 27, 2004

Background – the environment for SME finance has changed

Future economic recovery will depend on the possibility of Crafts, Trades and SMEs to exploit their potential for growth and employment creation.
SMEs make a major contribution to growth and employment in the EU and are at the heart of the Lisbon Strategy, whose main objective is to turn Europe into the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world. However, the ability of SMEs to grow depends highly on their potential to invest in restructuring, innovation and qualification. All of these investments need capital and therefore access to finance.
Against this background the consistently repeated complaint of SMEs[1] about their problems regarding access to finance is a highly relevant constraint that endangers the economic recovery of Europe.

Changes in the finance sector influence the behaviour of credit institutes towards Crafts, Trades and SMEs.
Recent and ongoing...