Anno Accademico 2022/2023

  • Docente: Beatrice Bertarini
  • Crediti formativi: 6
  • SSD: IUS/05
  • Lingua di insegnamento: Inglese
  • Modalità didattica: Convenzionale - Lezioni in presenza
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Laurea Magistrale in Economia e diritto (cod. 5913)

Conoscenze e abilità da conseguire

The course introduces students to the main regulations and financial instruments available for SMEs in the European Union, under the general consideration that SMEs are the backbone of the EU´s economy. The course illustrates how any of the traditional problems facing enterprises – i.e. regulatory burdens, lack of financing, supporting competitiveness and innovation, difficulties in exploiting technology – become more acute for SME. In order to pursue smart, inclusive and sustainable growth, the European Union has issued various soft law acts and financial instruments for SMEs, which try to ease their regulatory burden, and improve their access to funding, both in primary and secondary markets. At the end of the course students understand the characteristics, significance and role of SMEs in the EU’s economy, know the regulatory framework the European Union implements for SMEs and how legislation is enforced in Member States.


Introduction: European Union and legal acts, the industrial policy of the European Union and the role of micro – small – medium enterprises (SMEs).

SMEs in international context.

Large enterprises and SMEs, what differences? How public institutions support smart, inclusive and sustainable growth of SMEs in Europe; an high-quality Union legislation for SMEs.

The need of SMEs to: burden reduction/simplification; promotion of entrepreneurship; improving access to markets and internationalization; facilitating access to finance; supporting competitiveness and innovation; provision of key support networks. The role of European Commission Communications.

A case study: support to SMEs growth in Italy; alternative financing instruments for SME (i.e. crowdfunding).

Last lectures will be dedicated to the student presentations.



  • D. Sexton – H. Landstrom, The Blackwell Handbook of Entrepreneurship, Blackwell Publisher, Chapters 5, 7, 8, 9.

Recent report:

  • OECD Studies on SMEs and Entrepreneurship and OECD Small and medium enterprise outlook
  • EU Annual Report on European SMEs
  • EU: Small and Medium Sized Enterprises in European Regions and Cities 

    Historical overview:

  • D.J Storey, B.S Tether, Public policy measures to support new technology-based firms in the European Union, Research Policy, 1998
  • David Floyd, John McManus, (2005) "The role of SMEs in improving the competitive position

    of the European Union", European Business Review, Vol. 17 Issue: 2, pp.144-150

    Future prospective:

  • Rizos, Vasileios and Behrens, Arno and Kafyeke, Terri and Hirschnitz-Garbers, Martin and Ioannou, Anastasia, The Circular Economy: Barriers and Opportunities for SMEs (September 17, 2015). CEPS Working Documents . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2664489
  • J. M. Muller – O. Bulga – K. I. Voigt, Fortune favors the prepared: How SMEs approach business model innovations in Industry 4.0, in Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 2018

Further material can be suggest during lessons.

Final List of readings will be distribute at the end of the course.


Metodi didattici

The course will be taught using a wide variety of formats, including lectures, seminars, classroom discussions, and students presentations.

Modalità di verifica e valutazione dell'apprendimento

Oral exam

50% written paper – presentation

30% final exam

20% class participation

Evaluation criteria:

18-23: the student has sufficient preparation and analytical skills, spread however, over just few topics taught in the course, the overall jargon is correct

24-27: the student shows and adequate preparation at a technical level with some doubts over the topics. Good, yet not to articulate analytical skills with the use of a correct jargon

28-30: Great knowledge about most of the topics taught in the course, good critical and analytical skills, good usage of the specific jargon

30L: excellent and in depth knowledge of all the topics in the course, excellent critical and analytical skills, excellent usage of specific jargon.

Strumenti a supporto della didattica

power point presentation.

Orario di ricevimento

Consulta il sito web di Beatrice Bertarini