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New tools and opportunities in growth and climate friendly greening for small and medium enterprises in the European Union
Published December 30, 2015
25-31

The role of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) is unquestionable in the European economies, while financial opportunities are still inadequate for them. The more than 20 million SMEs play a significant role in European economic growth, innovation and job creation. According to the latest EC Annual Report , SMEs are accounting for 99% of all no...n-financial enterprises, employing 88.8 million people and generating almost EUR 3.7 tn in added value for our economy. Despite the fact that there is plenty of EU funding available for these SMEs, for certain reasons these funds hardly reach them. But we have to see that the EU supports SMEs by various way, e.g. by grants, regulatory changes, financial instrument, direct funds. On the other hand, SMEs and decision makers realised that the environmental sustainability has to be attached to the economic growth, therefore more and more tools are available for these enterprises. Over the last few years, public institutions, the market, the financial community and non-governmental associations have explicitly demanded that firms improve their environmental performance. One of the greatest opportunities might lay in the Climate- and Energy Strategy till 2030 as 20% of the EU budget is allocated to climate-related actions, however the easy access to finance is still a key question. Does the EU recognise the actual difficulties? Is there a systemic reason behind the absorption problems? Is the EU creating a more businessfriendly environment for SMEs, facilitating access to finance, stimulates the green and sustainable growth and improving access to new markets? The paper analyses the current European situation of the SMEs and the effectiveness of some new tools, which are specially targeting SMEs.

JEL classification: Q18

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65
9
Analysis the advanced ICT usage of the Hungarian SME sector for preparing a domestic agri-food research
Published December 31, 2017
147-153

In the Hungarian agro-food sector SMEs have a key role but regarding the tendency of the performance of SME sector, comparing to EU-28 average, the performance of Hungarian SME sector has gradually worsened between 2008 and 2015 while the EU average has an increasing trend. ICT can help enterprises and this article is an overview of the ICT sit...uation of Hungarian SMEs. It is important to analyse in detail the ICT usage characteristics of agro SMEs in the food supply chain because these ICT devices, tools and services are crucial to smooth the information flow within the chain. For all these reasons our work aims to find out how Hungarian agro-food SMEs use ICT and how ICT adoption affect their business procedures, performance and development. A striking observation to emerge from the data comparison is the difference among SMEs and large enterprises regarding the usage of the different basic and advanced ICT solutions. A much bigger percent of large companies use advanced ICT then SMEs and mainly small enterprises are lagging behind as the attitudes of medium sized enterprises are rather similar to the large ones. In Hungary small enterprises in agro-food industry are in difficult financial state and for them free Cloud Computing services can offer good opportunities as they do not have initial costs. ICT adoption is very important to them as ICT sector is a dynamically growing sector and if customers and partners of an enterprise adapt faster to these technological innovations, it may have a negative effect on the different processes, performance and financial results of the organisation. In this article our aim was to determine the main question groups for our questionnaire which focus mainly on ICT solutions supporting the quality of communication and relationship between partners. As the basic IT tools are available in the major part even in the SMEs besides large companies, the two main issues will be the usage of advanced online services and the usage of high quality ICT solutions.

JEL Code: M15

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69
44
Supply chain management practices for SMEs
Published December 31, 2020

In today’s globalized business environment small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) face many challenges. In order of their survival SMEs need to produce more, at a lower cost, in less time, and with a few defects. They form the most significant group of manufacturing firms and give supports to large companies in many supply chains. In addit...ion, SMEs contribute greatly to entrepreneurship, gross domestic product (GDP) and employment. Despite the fact that micro, small and medium sized enterprises have very important role in business networks, they still have many problems with using supply chain management (SCM) practices. In this research my purpose was to find the best SCM practices as a strategic method to improve SMEs’ performance. First, I give information in general about SCM and the SMEs, then highlight main characteristics of small firms compared to large ones and the reasons why it is essential and efficient to use SCM practices. The article is based on secondary data, using several analysis, surveys, books, journals and my personal experiences collected in this sector. I conclude the research by summarizing my recommendations in connection with SCM practices, the opportunities and barriers.

JEL code: M11

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19
European traditional food producers and marketing capabilities: An application of the marketing management process
Published December 30, 2009
41-46

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the marketing management capabilities of SMEs producing traditional food products, in order to analyse the market orientation of SMEs in the food industry. Following the theoretical approach of Market Orientation, our analysis is based on an assessment of the marketing management process. The methodology... refers to a survey developed through a questionnaire published on the web, and a sample of 371 firms based in Belgium, Italy, Spain, the Czech Republic and Hungary was used in the analysis. Cluster analysis was applied to find the different levels of market orientation of the firms. The results revealed a certain lack of appropriate skills in marketing management in the firms of the sample, confirming the evidence found in economic literature concerning SMEs. Nevertheless, cluster analysis outlined a group of firms with good marketing capabilities and market oriented, and these represent a great part of the sample (40%). With regard to the stages of the marketing management process, the most problematic are those of planning and implementation, and control and evaluation, highlighting the difficulties SMEs encounter in carrying out coordinated marketing; which appears to be generally characterised by poor organisational capacity.

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57
7
Human resources management in small and medium enterprises
Published May 30, 2009
71-74

Development of small and medium enterprises (SME) represents primary goal of every modern economy. It is complex challenge which includes great number of directly concerned parties in every sector of the state and economy. SME stimulate private ownership and entrepreneurship. Their characteristic is that they are flexible and can easily adjust ...to changes in supply and demand on the market. At the same time they open possibilities for increase of employment, promote diversification of economical activities, support sustainable growth and give significant contribution to export, trade and increase the competitiveness of the entire economy. Importance of SME for economy is undisputable. All research show that globally, more than 90% of all business activities are realized by SME. SMEs employ two thirds of total labor of European Union. Approaching to European Union presumes harmonization of the systematic environment and improvement of the climate of entrepreneurship, private initiative, development of SME. This determination has strongpoint in current world processes that prefer the development of SME, utilizing their profit efficiency and established advantages relating to the adaptability of small business to dynamic changes in economy. Problem of Human resources management is very sensitive issue in SMEs. Namely, in big companies there are entire teams of agencies or consultants are hired for selection and education of new employees, whereas in SMEs this work is done by owner or manager. Therefore, in this paper several facts were pointed out which need to be considered in selection of new employees, since every mistake in this activity can cause far-reaching consequences on functioning of SME.

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60
16
Network attributes’ evaluation by stakeholder groups concerned to the agri-food sector in Hungary
Published December 30, 2013
55-58

As a consortium partner, University of Debrecen, Hungary, has been conducting a European four-year project with the acronym NetGrow financed within the Framework Program 7 under the auspices of the EU focusing on network behaviour of food SMEs and the performance of networks. The overall objective is to reveal more evidences and facts on innova...tion, learning, and networking in the food sector of the EU. Whithin the scope of the project, special attention was paid to reveal how network attributes were evaluated by the main four stakeholder groups of the food sector such as food SMEs, public bodies, research institutions, and network management organisations. The respondents differ in ranking the attributes, while but we got a clear order of attributes, of which the top five can be explicitly selected. Taking the next three ranks into consideration, the attributes behind them have clear meanings and they seem to be complementary for the top five. The stakeholder groups were significantly differ in scoring openmindedness and external relations, the importance of network rendered services, and the goals relevance of the network to the firms.

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59
9
Empirical research on corporate strategies in Hungarian dairy industry
Published December 31, 2017
169-179

Corporate strategy has never been as important as it is nowadays. Markets are changing rapidly because of consumer demands, innovations, information flow and economic changes. Our paper concentrates on Hungarian dairy industry (hereinafter dairy) and four main objectives were defined to be analysed: (1) domestic dairy company features, (2) main... strategic characteristics, (3) how companies’ strategy resonates on the consumer side and (4) companies’ financial background were analysed as well. A company database was made in order to prepare for the primary research and to understand better the nature of today’s market. B2B (26 companies) and B2C (503 people) surveys were used in order to gain primary data. In 2017 132 Hungarian companies were observed in milk processing, but 44% of the market participants are not present in dairy competition. It is a fairly fragmented market structure because 10-20% of the annual turnover is accumulated among the 80-90% of competitors. The factor analysis of the data proved that the dairy companies followed m strategies at the same time; and it is assumed that most of them are unconscious. Strategically, the majority of the dairy sector is not up-to-date and modern enough. SMEs sector management skills and strategic preparedness are considered to be out-of-date and insufficient. Strategic planning can possibly have an influence on financial results, which was only partly proved by the analysed criteria system. The production and use of own raw milk supplies might make companies experience financial benefits. Nearly 78% of the respondents would rather purchase goods made from own raw material. The willingness to pay a higher price for this was in average 5-15%.

JEL Code: L1, L66

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77
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The development of integrated accounting in small and medium-sized companies in the agri- and foodsector f the Russian federation
Published June 30, 2012
131-135

This paper focuses on the regulation of financial accounting in SMEs in the agri- and food sector in Russia. The paper presents the factors which influence the accounting system and the quality of the information it provides. The information and reports that are prepared according to international standards are not comparable with reports prepa...red by Russian standards. They do not facilitate external users in gathering relevant information on the current financial position. The present usage of different systems for procuring information to satisfy the needs of multiple stakeholder groups takes time, distorts information, and often does not provide a true and fair view on business performance. One way to overcome this is the use of an integrated accounting system which allows, within the limits of Russian legislation, to provide a broad information base for external reporting. International standards could be used like IAS41 or those applied in the Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN). The derived data could be used for attraction of investments, presentation of information to all interested users, comparison of results of activities in similar companies, and as a benchmark for the activities of companies in various regions and/or segments. They could be used to compare Russian companies with similar ones in the European Union. This paper describes the benefits and pitfalls which companies potentially experience from implementing an integrated accounting information system for company management and financial reporting purposes in the Russian Federation.

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49
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Green networks: Innovative capacity of SMEs in the Dutch greenhouse horticulture industry
Published June 30, 2012
43-50

The Dutch greenhouse horticulture industry is characterized by world leadership in high-tech innovation. The dynamics of this playing field are innovation in production systems and automation, reduction in energy consumption and sharing limited space. However, international competitive advantage of the industry is under pressure and sustainable... growth of individual enterprises is no longer a certainty. The sector’s ambition is to innovate better and grow faster than the competition in the rest of the world. Realizing this ambition requires strengthening the knowledge base, stimulating entrepreneurship, innovation (not just technological, but especially business process innovation). It also requires educating and professionalizing people. However, knowledge transfer in this industry is often fragmented and innovation through horizontal and vertical collaboration throughout the value chain is limited. This paper focuses on the question: how can the grower and the supplier in the greenhouse horticulture chain gain competitive advantage through radical product and process innovation. The challenge lies in time- to-market, in customer relationship, in developing new product/market combinations and in innovative entrepreneurship. In this paper an innovation and entrepreneurial educational and research programme is introduced. The programme aims at strengthening multidisciplinary collaboration between enterprise, education and research. Using best practice examples, the paper illustrates how companies can realize growth and improve the innovative capacity of the organization as well as the individual by linking economic and social sustainability. The paper continues to show how participants of the program develop competencies by means of going through a learning cycle of single-loop, double-loop and triple loop learning: reduction of mistakes, change towards new concepts and improvement of the ability to learn. Finally, the paper illustrates the importance of combining enterprise, education and research in regional networks, with examples from the greenhouse horticulture sector. These networks generate economic growth and international competitiveness by acting as business accelerators.

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Motivation solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises in the Southern Transdanubian Region
Published December 31, 2020

The singularity of human resources and the complex interests in the world of work are a constant challenge for business executives and HR colleagues. While the difference between the performance of a motivated and an unmotivated employee can be up to twice as much at almost the same cost level, the motivation strategy is typically either absent... from the business life, or operates on a reactive concept based on an unconscious design. Although the mere presence of motivation and its various levels are less quantifiable in exact terms with direct tools, a performance which is much weaker than possible is measurable in the short and long term, and its negative economic results are clear. The aim of the research is to examine the motivational practices of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in the Southern Transdanubian Region. Involving 300 businesses we evaluated the applied wage system, the role of money among the motivational tools, the extent and causes of fluctuation, the system of employee training, the way of performance evaluation, the reasons for underperformance, the importance of motivation, the company motivation strategy and the efforts to retain the key people. The employee motivation can be increase in several forms, but the priority of needs and claims is constantly changing. Updating this motivational matrix is a real leadership challenge, but this effort can pay off multiple times. According to the results it can be stated that the motivation strategy – as a key economic issue – is not given sufficient attention in business practices.

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Regional benchmarking process in cognac project (Coordination of RDI policies and their coherence with other policies in the Newly Acceded Countries)
Published September 30, 2009
29-32

In order to achieve the Lisbon objectives and create a knowledge based society, Europe needs to increase and improve investment in R&D. This requires improving the effectiveness and coherence of research policies at European, national and regional levels. The first cycle of application of the open method of co-ordination (OMC) to the 3% obj...ective provided an overview of the Member States policies in a number of areas, facilitated mutual learning and led to a number of policy recommendations adopted by CREST in October 2004. The current regional benchmarking practice is made with in a 6th Framework Programme project called Cognac, which is the acronym for Coordination of R&D&I policies and their coherence with other policies in NewlyAcceded Countries. The project is focusing on two priority subjects: public research spending and policy mixes and SMEs and research. The project was supported within the first cycle of the RTD-OMC NET call. The benchmarking exercise tries to show the differences in the performance of participating regions. It supposed to choose the best regions at NUTS II level by the two priority topic of the project: “Public research spending and policy mixes” and “SMEs and research”. Geographically the analysis covers the area of the eight partnering regions.

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