SMEs in Public Procurement

Practices and Strategies for Shared Benefits

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The relevance and economic implications of public procurement – which represents 12% of GDP and one-third of government expenditures in the OECD area - make it a powerful tool for improving public service delivery. At the same time, governments are increasingly using their purchasing power to pursue strategic objectives in different policy areas such as sustainability, innovation or providing support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Making it easier for SMEs to access public procurement opportunities improves the general economic environment, promotes inclusive growth and supports principles such as equal treatment, open access and effective competition. This report takes stock of the approaches adopted in 37 OECD and non-OECD countries to help SMEs perform better in public procurement markets, including removing barriers to their participation. The report also describes the main features of a public procurement system that benefits both the public sector and SMEs.




The share of Greek enterprises defined as SMEs is 99.9%, according to data from the European Commission, corresponding to a total number of 729 353 SMEs. The share of Greek businesses defined as micro-enterprises is 96.7%, numbering 705 537 and employing fewer than 10 employees; 2.9% (21 272) are defined as small enterprises, 0.4% (2 544) as medium-sized enterprises and only 0.1% (422) as large enterprises. More than half of the workforce is employed by micro-enterprises and 86.9% by SMEs, accounting for 37.5% and 75.0% respectively of the value added in the economy. Compared with the EU-28 average, SMEs and especially micro-enterprises are more numerous and more important to the Greek economy.


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