This report makes a very significant reference to the fact that European SMEs and microenterprises currently rely in very large part on bank lending to finance their ongoing and investment initiatives. Opening access for them to new ways of funding projects is vitally important. However, it has to be kept in mind that such enterprises have limited time, experience, and resources to get to know about these options and feel confident in following them. Rightly then the report also emphasizes the role of young entrepreneurs. It is they who will be more amenable to seek and try non-traditional ways of mobilising financial support. Promotional and educational programmes specifically targeted towards young entrepreneurs when launching new financial tools for SMEs should have greater traction than with other sectors. That will have carry forward effects since in the future, as new generations come on stream, financing decisions will increasingly be tilted away from exclusive reliance on banks to other avenues. By laying out the ground for such a strategy, the report provides further impetus to the diversification of financing methods that are not just available to SMEs and micro enterprises but also widely employed. For this reason too I voted in favour.

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