As the world is changing the EU has to become a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy so as Member States to achieve employability, sustainability, productivity and social cohesion.

Taking into consideration that more than 99% of all European businesses are SMEs that provide two thirds of the private sector jobs and contribute to more than half of the total value-added created by businesses in the EU, the critical role of SMEs in achieving the Europe 2020 strategy becomes more evident.

Despite this strategy and the hard efforts of Europe to recover from a severe economic crisis, unemployment rates are still high, especially for the countries as Greece 26.5%, Spain 24.5% and Portugal 14.1%. Germany and Italy are less affected since Italy accounts for approximately 73%of GDP and is also the fastest growing segment (The Bank of Italy, Reuters, Kpmg, OECD, ISTAT) and Germany invests EUR 158 billion in new buildings and facilities, representing a share of 27% of the total gross fixed capital formation and 45 per cent of total corporate investment. They employ 29.1 million people, or 68 per cent of the working population.

They provide training for more than 1.2 million young people – that is 89 per cent of all trainees. In Bulgaria there is a restructure happening in SMEs providing unlimited scope of activity because of the currency and geographic position. Studies indicate that even within the current economic conditions, there are still companies, which show a remarkable yield, way above the average of their sector. It seems that they get benefit from the crisis and make use of chances/changes. SMEs in the nonfinancial business sector in Germany, and Bulgaria, posted a positive and strong performance in terms of number of firms, employment and value added, with gains higher than 3%.

Why? How?
The Report on the results of public consultation on The Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan or the Industrial Policy Communication 2014 For a European Industrial Renaissance, recognize that TARGETED LEARNING, EXPLOITATION OF FINANCING OPPORTUNITIES, INTERNATIONALIZATION, improvement of business environment, investments in innovation and new technologies, productivity and resource EFFICIENCY PLANS, are considered critical factors of growth and development.

But again, what makes an SME capable to perform well in these factors?
What is the secret of success of those SMEs that, despite the trend, manage to succeed?

This question is what the proposed project is trying to investigate, believing that the answer will reveal the secret of success, lying under the internal management system adopted by the SME stars which will unveil the specific needs of SMEs, in terms of internal capabilities, that when satisfied (via training among other plans) a viable future and even growth will be ensured. In order to achieve this ambitious objective, an in-depth analysis of the management systems attributes is necessary and is offered by the various standards, models and tools that are or can be applied to SMEs. Management tools like balanced scorecard, benchmarking, CRM, customer segmentation, management by objectives, etc. all include bits and pieces of the complete picture of business excellence and business potential.

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