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SMEs in turbulent times – A comparative analysis between Argentina, Brazil and European countries. Carolin Häner.

SMEs in turbulent times – A comparative analysis between Argentina, Brazil and European countries. Carolin Häner.

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Published by Dynamic SME
SMEs in turbulent times – A comparative analysis between Argentina, Brazil and European countries. Carolin Häner.
SMEs in turbulent times – A comparative analysis between Argentina, Brazil and European countries. Carolin Häner.

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Published by: Dynamic SME on Mar 07, 2012
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Master ThesisIn partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts inInternational Business Administrationat Hochschule RheinMainUniversity of Applied Sciences
Wiesbaden Business School
SMEs in turbulent times
 A comparative analysis betweenArgentina, Brazil andEuropean countries
 Prof. Dr. Klaus North
 Prof. Dr. Günther Abstein
Written by:
 Carolin HänerKonrad-Adenauer-Allee 1964569 NauheimWiesbaden, October 15, 2011
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:
Note: * This number refers only to micro and small enterprises (medium-sized enterprises are notconsidered)
Challenges SMEs face
European, Brazilian and Argentinean SMEs share in common, that globalizationhas an enormous impact on them. Increased competition and low cost productsimported from the Asian countries that threaten their internal market, are justsome examples. Another similarity is the economic crisis in 2008/2009 thataffected SMEs causing a stall in the growth of the number and employment of SMEs, a decrease in exportations, difficulties to obtain credit and shortages of working capital.
In Europe additional factors that influence SMEs are the EU enlargementprocess and the trend towards a knowledge-based economy.
Brazilian SMEs suffer from a high bureaucracy, continuous tax changes andpoor business management.
Inflation and the political situation and a lack of sufficient infrastructure areissues that Argentinean SMEs have to deal with.
Total 99.8% 99.7% 98.2%Micro 91.8% 94.0% 71.2%Small 6.9% 5.1% 21.7%Medium-sized 1.1% 0.6% 5.3%41.7 30.4 11.96.4 4.2 10.3Total 67.4% 68.3% 51.8%Micro 29.7% 24.5% 12.7%Small 20.7% 27.7% 19.2%Medium-sized 17.0% 16.0% 19.9%58% 20%* 40%24% 19.7% 10.7%
Contribution to GDPExport turnoverNumber of SMEs/total of enterprisesDensity of SMEs
(per 1,000 inhabitants)
Average size of an enterprise
Number of personsemployed bySMEs/total of enterprises

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