Executive Summary: SMEs in turbulent times
A comparative analysisbetween European Countries, Brazil and Argentina
The four year project ‘Sustainable competitiveness of SMEs in turbulent
economic and social environment
a network approach’ was initiated in 2011 andaims to “ (…) create a co
-evolvement process towards a successful managementmodel for SMEs that combines the European innovation and organizationallearning model with Latin American survival strategies in turbulent economies
As part of this project, the objective of this thesis is to investigate SMEs (smalland medium-sized enterprises) in turbulent times and compare them amongEuropean countries, Brazil and Argentina.
Definition of SMEs
In Europe an enterprise is considered to be an SME if it employs fewerthan 250 persons and has an annual turnover not exceeding US$ 66 million(50 million euro) and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding US$57 million (43 million euro).
SMEs in Brazil are characterized by a multitude of definitions andtherefore it is hard to give one general definition. SMEs in Brazil aredefined as clearly smaller in size (annual turnover) compared to Europe.
In Argentina there is one official accepted SME definition, which isbroadly applied. This definition differs by sector of activity andapproximates to that of Brazil.
Contribution to the economy
In all researched countries SMEs play a key role in the economy. The followingtable provides an overview of the contribution of European, Brazilian andArgentinean SMEs: