A Comparison of SMEs in Europe and in the USA

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Justin Bryon, Solomon M. Karmel

This study focuses on the relationship between small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), private equity and wider capital markets in the EU and in the USA. Specifically, it examines the impact of private equity and capital markets on SME developments on both sides of the Atlantic. It looks at the financial enabling environment for SMEs and provides conclusions and recommendations for change.

The work begins its analysis by studying the different nature of SME activity in Europe and in the USA, from the seed stage to more mature businesses. It considers the important role SMEs play in economic growth and how they contribute to employment creation. The report describes start-up and failure profiles of these types of enterprises as well as topics that range from their economic impact to the problems they face when seeking finance.

Another contribution of the the book is an in-depth look at the most relevant issues for SMEs at the dawn of the 21st century: private equity and venture capital, markets for SMEs' publicly-quoted stocks, institutional policies towards SMEs and SMEs' potential developments and constraints. The authors analyse private and public SME data and draw relevant conclusions for policymakers and SME executives.