The proposal for a European Capital Markets Union (CMU) carries large potential economic benefits from enhancing the financing possibilities for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs). By deepening the capital markets and strengthening cross-border integration, the European Commission hopes to stimulate economic growth and boost employment. In this paper, we discuss to what extent these goals can be achieved, in light of the complex business environment of European SMEs. We outline the different types of SMEs in terms of their financing structures as well as the pervasive differences across the EU, concluding that any policy approach must take into account the diversity of the companies’ financing needs and the market realities in the Member States. We argue that the CMU is likely to have a heterogeneous impact, with some types of SMEs and certain regions gaining more than others.

IW-Report

Markus Demary / Joanna Hornik / Gibran Watfe: SME Financing in the EU – Moving Beyond One-Size-Fits-All

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