-Like elsewhere in many parts of the world, in Germany the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) form the backbone of the German economy. According to KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau), there are approximately 3.6 million SMEs and they offer employment to more than 60% percent to the working population. (See a summary of further information on “THE SME SECTOR IN GERMANY” by KfW) .
-Who are the Germany “Mittlestand” and what makes them stand out? I came across an article titled ‘Introducing the German Mittlestand’ -The article describes 8 facts about the Germany’s ‘Mittlestand’ and what makes them productive. (Read on at Make it in Germany)
-What is the secret of SME growth in Germany and what can the world learn from them? An article by the Telegraph.co.uk describes a broader picture behind the success and growth of the Germany’s SME’s and how they compare with SMEs in the UK and elsewhere in the world. One of the important issues addressed in the article, is the Germany SME access to business financing which is hugely provided by institutions such as the KfW Development Bank among others.
Limited access to SME Financing is a global problem. I’ve listened to small business owners talk about their frustrations in their businesses. Most of them talk about the difficulties they face while trying to raise business funds through bank financing. According to research, a large number of SMEs are forced to seek alternative methods of business financing. Some raise finances through external sources such family and friends due to the fact that they have limited access to bank loans. A separate article by (OECD) The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, highlights other forms of alternative financing and the importance of having broad range of financing instruments available to SMEs besides just bank financing. Easy access to alternative finances as is important to in order to continuously improve on the performance of SMEs, innovation, employment and fuel growth, ( Read the full OECD report here)
Still on alternative SME Financing, are slowly taking a bold step to help improve access to financial Services around the world. Examples of such companies include Village Capital and PayPal . According to Paypal, the main is to “…support social impact innovators who are making financial services more accessible to low-income individuals, families and small businesses…” (Read on here)