Business and Growth

Here we offer you to take a look at the study on European Cultural Routes' impact on the small and medium enterprises in the affiliated regions. The document highlights the trends, niches and best practices of the European cultural tourism sector.

The Study on European Cultural Routes impact on SMEs innovation, competitiveness, and clustering was jointly launched by the European Commission (EC) and the Council of Europe (CoE) in September 2010 aiming to provide insights on the effects produced by the CoE Cultural Routes Programme on SMEs performance, network and cluster development. The study sough also to examine the potential of the Cultural Routes for promoting sustainable and quality tourism in Europe, strengthening European identity, disseminating the richness of European cultures and fostering the intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding. In particular, the Study tends to analyse how much Cultural Routes networks can benefit SMEs, especially in less-known destinations, where the local culture and heritage are the main resource for development, and how SMEs’ clusters can create a solid basis for promoting Europe as "the world's No 1 tourist destination".

EU's support to tourism businesses - the Tourism Business Portal

The Tourism Business Portal was launched by the Commission to help European tourism companies better manage their enterprises.

It provides practical, up-to-date information on digital technologies and innovative business practices, which can be easily applied when setting up, managing, promoting and expanding a tourism business.

It is part of the Commission’s commitment to improve the competitiveness of the industry  in the global digital market place.

Visit the Tourism Business Portal


Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Europe

The more than 20 million SMEs in the EU represent 99% of businesses, and are a key driver for economic growth, innovation, employment and social integration. The European Commission aims to promote successful entrepreneurship and improve the business environment for SMEs, to allow them to realise their full potential in today's global economy.

What does the EU do?

The European Commission works on broad policy issues affecting entrepreneurship and SMEs across Europe, and assists SMEs through networks and business support measures. It helps existing and potential entrepreneurs to grow their businesses, giving special attention to women entrepreneurs, crafts and social economy enterprises.

The Small Business Act for Europe (SBA) embodies the EU's commitment to SMEs and entrepreneurship. Member States have committed to implementing the SBA alongside the European Commission in an effort to make the EU a better place to do business.

Since SMEs have to be supported at local level, the Commission helps Member States and the regions to develop policies aimed at promoting entrepreneurship, assisting SMEs at all stages of development, and helping them to access global markets. The identification and exchange of good practices are key elements of this policy.

The European Small Business Portal gathers together all the SME-related information provided by the EU, ranging from practical advice to policy issues, from local contact points to networking links.