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25 October 2023
European Parliament Members Advocating for Startups to Be Treated Differently from SMEs

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are championing a distinct approach to managing start-ups, as opposed to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The current regulations for accessing EU support programmes treat startups and SMEs alike, categorising them based on factors such as staff count and revenue. This broad categorization creates obstacles for startups in obtaining funding and expanding, as stated in a preliminary report delivered to the Parliament's industry, research, and energy (ITRE) committee on October 12th. The report urges the Commission to put forward unified definitions for start-ups and scale-ups that consider their distinctions from SMEs. It also emphasizes the need to assess how legislation, like the SME Relief Package introduced by the Commission in September, impacts start-ups.

However, when considering the comprehensive support measures for the European Union's 24 million SMEs, it's evident that start-ups received less attention. Start-ups still encounter several challenges, including restricted access to funding, regulatory complexities, talent acquisition and retention issues, and market accessibility obstacles. The introduction of the unitary patent in June, which means companies no longer have to register their innovations separately in each member state, is a positive step, but more needs to be done.


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realization: ideo
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