Over 99% of all companies in the Netherlands fall into the SME sector. Small and medium-sized enterprises are the engine of the Dutch economy, and the sector is seen as crucial for the development of innovation and for strengthening the Dutch economy. The government accordingly supports the SME sector with various policy instruments. However, there is no such thing as ‘the’ typical SME: these companies differ widely in terms of their size, growth, degree of internationalisation, position in the chain and also in terms of innovation. Not all SMEs are innovative, not all innovative SMEs innovate in the same way; the knowledge and innovation needs of these companies are also diverse.
AWTI regularly focuses on the position of the SME sector and the innovation challenges it faces. The Council looks at issues such as how the ecosystem in which these entrepreneurs operate can be strengthened and how access to funding could be improved. The Council also advises on linking up SMEs to knowledge partners, possibly in the ‘golden triangle’ of the Top Sectors. Finally, the Council advises on entrepreneurship training and stimulating entrepreneurial ability.