Ecommerce-related SMEs to benefit from European funds

Monday 12 January 2015 08:43 CET | News

SMEs selling online have developed significantly as a result of investments made by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), reports.

However, more investments are required for SMEs to develop inasmuch as to be competitive, according to a report issued by the European Court of Auditors (ECA).

SMEs are often slow to adopt new developments in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector and the European funds are intended to help them. Thanks to the funds allocated through the ERDF, EUR 3 billion was budgeted between 2007 and 2013 to help SMEs make better use of (ICT). Unfortunately, only 60% of the money has been allocated to such projects.

The European Unions auditors concluded that Member States’ operational programmes (which set out a regions priorities for delivering the funds) served as a good basis for providing support to SMEs in the field of ecommerce, which implemented the projects smoothly. The majority of enterprises which received funds were able to go online by means of creating a website, and about a third of them was able to conduct online sales after the project. SMEs also made good use of the IT development systems that were offered to them.

For the new funding period, from 2014 thru 2020, the European Commission has appointed new funding programmes to stimulate cross-border ecommerce and SME competitiveness. The 2014-2020 programme for Digital Growth entails regional funds enhancing access to and quality of ICT, developing e-skills, ecommerce and the cross-border provision of services.

Member States’ governments guarantee the selection of projects that maximise added value among applicants in terms of fostering ecommerce development in SMEs and achieving the targets set by the Digital Agenda for Europe (33% of SMEs to make online sales and purchases by 2015).

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Keywords: ecommerce, SME, EU, Member States, funds, investment, online sales, ICT, IT, competitive, Development, EC
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce