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A new approach towards SME’s consideration

Kostis C. KOUTSOPOULOS Downloads: 134

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Published: 2022/05/28 DOI:

Open Access

Keywords: SME, entrepreneurship


The definition of an SME may vary from country to country (for example, the definition in Germany has a limit of 255 employees, while in Belgium it can be 100), but in all of them they are regarded as the key drivers of the economy and represent its backbone. Indeed, SMEs provide innovations spread throughout regions to solve a series of challenges like unequal development, climate change, resource efficiency and social cohesion. In addition, they involve: job creation; unemployment reduction; significant contribution to growth in GDP; sustainable spatial growth; needed money flow; the seed to form large companies; and the development of appropriate technology. However, despite the importance of SMEs, there is considerable confusion over which characteristics should be used to express and evaluate them, in determining policies and programs to help and support them. The literature (Peters and Waterman, 1982; Amini, 2004; Radam et al.,2008) has attempted to answer these concerns, but the BALANCE project’s (Green and Stable -Bringing Sustainability and Environmental Action Together for Better Future) research has shown that nowadays such justifications cannot be accepted, because the failure to address these issues lies on the inability of the traditional approach (exclusive economic) in describing, and analyzing them. For an effective and efficient use of SMEs to facilitate the previous mentioned activities, their nature and all aspects related to them have to be fully understood and taken into account, because in turn they determine how they operate and managed in real life conditions. In the last few years, important changes have taken place in the way we view SMEs, resulting in a new way they operate and are managed. Basically, changes in the perception, operation and management of SMEs provided by the bibliography (Hamidatum and Sabariah, 2020; National SME Development Council, 2012; Selamat et al., 2011), the results of the BALANCE project, and practicing experience, clearly indicate that a new approach towards EMEs is required. Indeed, nowadays for an appropriate way to deal with SMEs there is a need to accept that there have been changes both in terms of the way they are regarded and operate. This leads to the realization that the resent approach to SMEs, is now absolute and we are in the period of a new paradigm (Kuhn, 1962). The justification of such a paradigm shift is based on the following principles: The determining factor in the observed changes in SMEs’ role and in their enterprising approach are the result of alterations in societal perceptions and beliefs. The bibliography has clearly shown that changes in societal values and goals through time, result in profound changes in all aspects of our lives (Koutsopoulos, 2011; Koutsopoulos and Kotsanis, 2014), including the role SMEs are playing and operate. The changes in SMEs role and entrepreneurship are conditioned by the given economic setting, during a specific time period, which in turn is the result of the existing societal and economic conditions. In other words, it is the existing societal conditions that condition the nature and entrepreneurship of SMEs. The previous societal changes have led to a change (paradigm shift) from a simple one-dimensional approach focusing mainly on the economic aspects of SMEs operation and management, to a more sophisticated multi-dimensional approaches, where a set of SMEs characteristics are their defining entrepreneurship criteria. SMEs operation need to provide integrated services and products to be successful. SMEs operating only in economic terms, ignoring factors such as stimulating growth, ensuring jobs, concerned with the well-being of citizens etc., is not acceptable anymore. What is needed is a new approach to overcome the fragmentation of their operating and managing techniques as well as of their social ramifications. This new SMEs approach, which accommodates at the same time enterprising and societal ne

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Volume 13, No 5, 2022
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