A conference in Brussels was told that with the "appropriate regulatory framework" SMEs could create "millions of jobs".
The event heard, however, that "forward-looking" policies were needed to realise such ambitious goals. It was said that, despite the economic downturn, European SMEs had managed to "weather the uncertain financial conditions" and continued to grow. The conference, organised by the international association of Microsoft channel partners (IAMCP), which represents local technology firms employing 10 to 100 staff, attracted scores of businessmen and women. They were told that, in 2012, a quarter of SMEs in Europe are expected to hire new staff and that 18 per cent of them are forecast to invest in new technology.
Half of respondents to a recent survey expected "cloud computing" to play a more important role in driving growth. However, participants were told that more was needed at EU level in order to enable SMEs to fulfil their potential for job creation and contributing to restoring Europe's competitiveness.